Dean Goldman's Bio

Lee Goldman, MD, MPH, is Professor of Medicine at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S), Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and Dean Emeritus of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC). He received his BA, MD, and MPH degrees from Yale University. He did his internal medicine training at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Massachusetts General Hospital, and his cardiology training at Yale. From 1978 to 1995, positions at Harvard included Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, while positions at Brigham and Women’s Hospital included Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer. From 1995 to 2006, he was the Julius R. Krevans Professor, Chair of Medicine, and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at UCSF. From 2006 to 2020, he was the Harold and Margaret Hatch Professor of the University and Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine at Columbia University, where he also served as chief executive of CUIMC and dean of VP&S. 

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Goldman is well known for his research on the cost and effectiveness of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for heart disease, research that has helped transform the delivery of medical care. He is best known for his work in predicting the cardiac risk of non-cardiac surgery (the “Goldman Index”), determining which patients with chest pain require hospitalization (“the Goldman Criteria,” featured in Malcolm Gladwell's Blink), and establishing priorities for preventing and treating coronary artery disease (the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model). Dr. Goldman's research has led to the proliferation of the now ubiquitous chest pain evaluation units. He coauthored the article that coined the term “hospitalist” and created the first academic hospitalist program in the U.S. More than 45 trainees have first-authored peer-reviewed publications under his mentorship, and his 500-plus publications include more than 20 first- or senior-authored articles in The New England Journal of Medicine, the premier journal for patient-oriented research. 

During Dr. Goldman’s 14 years as chief executive CUIMC and dean of VP&S, the more than $3 billion of philanthropic fund-raising included naming gifts for both the medical center and medical school, and VP&S became the first medical school to eliminate all need-based loans and replace them with scholarships.  The more than 1.4 million square feet of new space included the architecturally acclaimed Vagelos Education Center, a new outdoor pedestrian plaza created by closing off a block of Haven Avenue, and a 125,000 square foot clinical practice in midtown Manhattan. A new medical school curriculum emphasized small group learning and instituted a required scholarly. Education initiatives included new degrees, the Columbia-Bassett Program that provides students with a longitudinal curriculum split between New York City and a rural New York medical center, and a three-year program for PhD scientists to earn MD degrees.  New research initiatives (including immunology, stem cell biology, genomics, structural biology, and computational biology) helped the VP&S NIH grant portfolio grow from #14 to #5 among U.S. medical schools between 2009 to 2020, with the second largest absolute growth of any medical school. Its research impact was recognized by its recent ranking as No. 1 or No. 2 by Nature Index, an annual calculation of research citations. The creation of a formal Faculty Practice Organization and partnership with NewYork Presbyterian Hospital led to multiple new programs and a 7% compound annual increase in the VP&S clinical practice.

Dr. Goldman is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation; past President of the Association of American Physicians, the Society of General Internal Medicine, and the Association of Professors of Medicine; a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; past director of the American Board of Internal Medicine; and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He received the highest awards of the Society of General Internal Medicine (the Glaser Award), the American College of Physicians (the John Phillips Award), and the Association of Professors of Medicine (the Williams Award), as well as the Blake Award from the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Goldman is the lead editor of the renowned Cecil Textbook of Medicine, the longest continuously published medical textbook in the United States, which is now renamed Goldman-Cecil Medicine. He is a past associate editor of The New England Journal of Medicine and editor of The American Journal of Medicine. His lay book, Too Much of a Good Thing: How Four Key Survival Traits Are Now Killing Us, was published in 2015.

He holds an honorary MA degree from Harvard University and an honorary DSc degree from the University of Glasgow. UCSF created the Lee Goldman MD Endowed Chair in Medicine and the Goldman Medical Service in his name.