By: Dr. Roland Grad
We sometimes remember to credit our progress through the metaphor of ‘standing on the shoulders of Giants’. As a resident and then early in my career, I had the opportunity to work along side one such giant in Medicine - Sidney Feldman. He was just ‘Sid’ to most of us. A general internist by training, Sid had a large outpatient practice at the Herzl Clinic where he demonstrated his love for clinical medicine. Sid was also a highly skilled and dedicated educator; our ‘go to’ person for residents who wanted and needed to up their game. Although he never wrote about his many experiences in remediating “residents with difficulties”, Sid was recognized for his talent as a teacher when he was named to the Honour List for Educational Excellence at McGill. I smiled deeply when his name was called at the inaugural meeting of this annual event at the McIntyre.
Of many fond memories, a few more come quickly to mind. I recall his talent in nudging residents to improve their clinical knowledge. He did this by using a little humour. Whenever we had no answer to an important question about one of our patients, he would write the residents’ name on his office wall. Getting your name on his infamous ‘shit list’ meant you better have looked for the answer by the following week.
I recall how Sid showed a remarkable level of kindness towards the “little” guy. Maybe 20 years ago, we met in the hospital parking lot. This was several years after Sid had retired. I asked him what he was up to. He explained that he was just going to meet someone at the hospital library. Who? An adult who needed help to learn how to read.
Not a bad way to spend one’s time in retirement, I thought.