CLUING IN ON OBESITY • EAST MEETS WEST TO HEAL • SAFETY AFTER SURGERY
Jewish General Hospital Volume 48, no. 2
Going global Playing a role on the world stage as a member of Quebec’s healthcare team
Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Goldman Herzl Family Practice Centre 1912 - 2012 JGH News
F irst P erson S ingular
Dedicated to helping the elderly live not just longer, but better Honour your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land your G-d is giving you. — fifth of the Ten Commandments I find it curious that I’m clinical, research and teaching sometimes asked not just why I responsibilities of the Division entered Geriatrics, but what Geof Geriatric Medicine had inriatrics is. I’ve even come across creased significantly under Drs. articles in medical journals by Clarfield and Howard Bergman. geriatricians who were asked This brings us to the “what” these same questions. of Geriatrics: Our patients’ avFirst, the “why”: I had a erage age has risen to 85. Most very close relationship with have several chronic illnesses, my maternal grandfather, who plus cognitive impairment and lived with us. Among my earcomplex social difficulties. As liest childhood memories are the Baby Boomers age in North him taking me and my brother Dr. Ruby Friedman America, life expectancy is near to Pratt Park and to synagogue. He was a 80, but many live longer with a good quality butcher, and on Sundays my father drove us of life. Half a century ago, 60 was considered around Outremont so my grandfather could old, but now many people stay active and collect payments from his clients. “youthful” into their 70s and beyond. As he got older, my grandfather became That’s why our Division has grown from frailer; our roles reversed and we helped him four beds on 8 West to an “elderly-friendly”, walk with a cane to synagogue. When his multi-disciplinary, 32-bed teaching unit on 6 vision weakened, I held the prayer book to North West. The Geriatric Assessment Unit, his eyes. Eventually, he was confined to our Memory Clinic and Senior Oncology Clinic home, but my mother refused to transfer see more than 2,000 out-patients a year. The him to a long-term care facility. Instead, she Geriatric Consult Team, with a daily presarranged for home visits by Drs. Danny Ber- ence in Emergency and all hospital wards, covitch and Harold Pomerantz, and this left sees over 2,500 patients annually. Our Dia lasting impression on me. vision also conducts internationally recogFast-forward to 1982. Having completed nized research. Yet, Quebec still has fewer medical school at McGill University, I began than 60 geriatricians leading academic and my residency at the Jewish General Hospi- scientific development. tal and was very fortunate to have Drs. Mark From Biblical times to the present, the imClarfield and Rubin Becker—co-founders portance of caring for our vulnerable elders of the Division of Geriatrics—as teach- has been re-emphasized. As Mahatma Ganers and role models. In pursuing my inter- dhi, Pope John Paul II, Winston Churchill est in managing multiple illnesses in the and others have noted, a civilization is meaelderly, I discovered I enjoyed working in a sured by the treatment of its weakest memmulti-disciplinary team with nurses, physio- bers. Their wish is expressed in Psalms 71:9: therapists, occupational therapists and social “Do not cast me away when I am old; do workers—common today, but innovative not forsake me when my strength fails.” We back then. Finally, in 1985, after finishing my in health care want to make that wish come training at Toronto’s Baycrest geriatric cen- true. While we may not always be able to tre, I joined the JGH. By the early ’90s, the cure, we must never forget to care.
Dr. Ruby Friedman Site Director Division of Geriatric Medicine
Care for all.
Summer 2012 Published by: SIR MOR