The Arnold P. Gold Foundation works with healthcare professionals to ensure that compassion, respect and empathy are at the core of all healthcare interactions. The Foundation is a public, 501 [c]  not-for-profit organization, established in 1988 by Arnold Gold, MD and Sandra Gold, EdD, their colleagues at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York and philanthropists. The Foundation relies on donations to advance our vital work. Eighty percent of our annual budget is derived from contributions made by donors like you.
Arnold Gold, MD is a world-renowned pediatric neurologist at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. He and his wife Sandra Gold, EdD, and their colleagues at Columbia began the Foundation in 1988 with the power of an idea – to nurture and preserve the tradition of the caring physician.
That idea was conceived in response to trend that Dr. Arnold Gold witnessed. He feared that burgeoning scientific discoveries and advances in technology were shifting the focus of medicine from caring for the whole person to an over-reliance on technology. Physician trainees were scientifically proficient and technically well-trained, but often demonstrated a sad lack of caring and compassion. Arnold decided, with Sandra’s help, to do something about it.
Humanism in health care is characterized by a respectful and compassionate relationship between physicians, as well as all other members of the healthcare team, and their patients. It reflects attitudes and behaviors that are sensitive to the values and the cultural and ethnic backgrounds of others. The humanistic healthcare professional demonstrates the following attributes (“I.E., C.A.R.E.S.”):
Scientific evidence demonstrates that compassion and empathy are critical components of good medicine. When healthcare professionals give humanistic care, patients are more likely to adhere to their medical orders, which results in better health outcomes. When patients engage in preventive healthcare practices and heal more quickly, it results in cost-savings to the healthcare system.
The work begins with the training of healthcare professionals, where The Foundation supports efforts to spread the habit of humanism. Our strategies are to:
Here are a few examples of the reach of The Foundation’s work:
There are many ways volunteers can get involved in the work of The Foundation. See our Get Involved page to learn about opportunities for recognizing the humanistic doctors in your life, hosting an event, writing for our blog, or making a gift.
The quickly changing healthcare landscape is filled with new challenges and opportunities, and The Arnold P. Gold Foundation stands ready to meet them. While we continue strengthening our relationships with physicians in training, we are also expanding our work to engage practicing physicians, nurses, physician assistants and other members of the healthcare team in training and in practice. We are involving patients more intimately by promoting and amplifying their voices and educating them about the importance of humanistic healthcare.