As director of health services, Goldstein expertly juggles several roles:
- College Physician: Goldstein personally treats students with medical needs—from primary care issues, to mental health concerns, to life-threatening emergency situations.
- Administrative Director: He also oversees health center staff—physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and a school psychiatrist—and manages the department’s budget.
- Chief Medical Officer: Goldstein consults President Alison Byerly and senior staff on campus-wide health issues, like pandemics—helping create and implement policies to mitigate risk.
- Team Physician: He works with the sports medicine team to care for student-athletes.
Why I Became a Physician
“When I was an undergraduate at Rutgers, I started as a business major. I didn’t enjoy it. When I started taking science classes as electives and shadowing a friend who was a practicing emergency physician, that’s when I found my wheelhouse. I’m a people person. My personal interactions with patients and my ability to have an impact on people’s lives are what bring me the greatest fulfillment. It’s what makes me tick as a physician.”
Ask Goldstein which moments from his career he will remember forever, and he’ll have no shortage of stories to tell about the patients’ lives he’s saved—even on campus.
“One afternoon, I received a frantic call on my cell to immediately come to a dorm room near the health center. A student I had been following for a serious medical condition was unresponsive. My training as an ER doc kicked in, and we began resuscitating him in the dorm. I rode in the ambulance with him and continued treating him in the ER. At one point, he was in full cardiac arrest, and I thought he was going to die. Thankfully, he made a full recovery. We developed an amazing relationship—probably a lifelong bond.”
Goldstein shares some of his favorite things to enjoy when he hangs up his lab coat at the end of a long day.
“It’s my drug of choice for relieving stress and anxiety. I’ve also run a number of marathons: I ran close to three hours when I was in my 50s, and that’s an accomplishment I’m proud of.”
“I’m a big New York Yankees fan. I grew up in northern New Jersey, and my dad used to take me to the Bronx to see the Yankees play at least once or twice a year. Ever since then, I idolized the old-timer Yankees. I also name all my dogs after former players: I’ve had a Munson, a Jeter, and a Mattingly.”
Healthy Habits: Everything in Moderation
“Being healthy is a balance of different dimensions in your life—intellectual, social, mental, physical—and I try to balance those things in a positive way and practice what I preach to my students. I eat well, try to get as much rest as possible, and limit the amount of alcohol I drink. I try to have a good mental health attitude. I try to focus on the present and not ruminate about the what-ifs of tomorrow or the oh-my-Gods of what I did yesterday.”
Whats on the Horizon for Bailey Health Center?
Goldstein has spearheaded many innovative changes that have allowed Bailey Health Center to better serve its rising volume of student-patients. In addition to extending the center’s regular service hours, Goldstein also helped establish a partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network to provide patients with additional services after hours. Goldstein has more plans for the center: “The College is evaluating an expanded collaboration with a hospital network to provide additional services and enhanced access for the community. Phase two of the [McCartney Street] residence hall construction project may include plans for a new health center with a range of new health services. We’re in the process of strategically planning to make that happen.”
Who Let the Dogs Out?
Bailey Health Center visitors are typically greeted at the door by Raven, Chief, and Finn, the center’s resident dogs. Goldstein shares how the pups came to be such iconic figures on campus: “One day in a staff meeting, I asked what sorts of things we can think of to make the health center more warm and inviting, and the topic of puppies and therapy dogs came up—and it caught on like wildfire. These dogs aren’t therapy-dog trained; but in reality, they do everything that a therapy dog would. The students love coming in to see them, spend time with them, or take them for a walk.”