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October 19 , 2007

Brooklyn Beginnings

A Geriatrician’s Odyssey


Helicopter evacuations, teaching West Bank Arab nursing students, life and death medical decisions, aging Holocaust survivors, heart-breaking ethical decisions – Brooklyn Beginnings immerses the reader in the life stories of Dr. Michael Gordon who helped forge contemporary Geriatrics in his adopted Canada. His Brighton Beach childhood, his initially quiescent Jewish roots, and a unique Lithuanian and Scottish interface profoundly inspired Gordon’s personal and professional journey. From his early wanderings through Europe to his Scottish medical education, through Eastern European travels and his Israeli immigration, with its associated military service and Holocaust survivor exposure, Gordon’s arrival in Canada was a culmination of his personal challenges.

He drew on his life experiences to help his patients, their families and medical trainees for more than thirty years. Among the life-altering experiences in this personal reflection are: experiencing Israel’s Six Day War from within an Arab country; confronting the U.S. Selective Service and the Vietnam War; being a physician in the Israeli Air Force; engaging in clinical and educational activities within the Arab world; and fulfilling a seminal professional and educational role as a geriatrician and ethicist. The complex human condition is engagingly and warmly presented against the profound challenges of health and disease.

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