Journal of the American Geriatrics Society: Michael Gordon and Humanism

Feb 10, 2020
Author: 
Dr. Paula Rochon

Dr. Michael GordonDr. Michael Gordon Dr. Michael Gordon, the iconic geriatrician, educator, author, and storyteller, has been honoured for his contributions to person‐centered care by the University of Toronto's Department of Medicine. The department announced that their recently established humanism award will now be named the Michael Gordon Award for Humanism in Medicine, a well‐deserved and fitting recognition for this extraordinary man.

Michael Gordon personifies the meaning of humanism in health care. In his warm, charismatic way, he has been an educator and mentor to many.

Michael defined what it truly means to practice geriatric medicine in Canada. He holds the distinction of being the first geriatrician accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1981 when geriatric medicine became a specialty in this country. Accordingly, his geriatric medicine specialist certificate is numbered “one.” Early on, he recognized that older adults have complex needs. They require holistic care that focuses on their priorities that may go beyond traditional medical care. When he first started his career in geriatric medicine, his medical colleagues did not understand what geriatric medicine was or its true value to society. Through the unique and personal care he provided to older adults and their families, his educational initiatives, and his leadership in the field, he won the respect and admiration of his medical colleagues. In his role as the physician in chief at Baycrest, he laid the foundations for the development of geriatric medicine at the University of Toronto, in Canada, and around the world.

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