Dr. Lee Goldman

Lee Goldman, MD

“Every one of our authors is a recognized expert in their field. They bring with them a level of authoritativeness and comprehensiveness that makes Cecil very special.” – Dr. Lee Goldman

A Trusted Authority

As an intern, looking for a comprehensive medical textbook, I chose Cecil. I used it to prepare for Part Three of the Boards, and later to prepare for the Internal Medicine Board Exam. I always found it to be authoritative, comprehensive, and yet understandable. During my time as editor of the last four editions, we’ve tried to preserve and enhance the historic attributes of Cecil—now named Goldman-Cecil Medicine—its fundamental dedication is to the biological basis of disease, and its role as a cornerstone for diagnosis and therapy. What I saw as a great opportunity when I took over four editions ago, was to meld the scientific aspects with the practical aspects of diagnosis and treatment. We now believe it’s one of the great strengths of the book.

What Makes Goldman-Cecil Medicine Unique

We take great pride in the fact that — both in the written and electronic versions — Cecil is continuously updated. The time lag between something being discovered and its being incorporated into the book is only a matter of weeks or a month or two. We try to be consistent to the theme of the book, so when new information comes out, we put it into perspective right away. Cecil is also one of the few textbooks that doesn’t have junior authors. Every one of our authors is a recognized expert in their field. They bring with them a level of authoritativeness and comprehensiveness that makes Cecil very special. Dr. Schafer and I also edit the book very carefully. If you look at different chapters that talk about systemic lupus or anti-coagulation, for example, you get the same message in various chapters. If our authors initially don’t agree, we find the consensus so what you get from Cecil is a consistent message. That takes a lot of time, but that’s what differentiates our book from a lot of others.

Why Cardiology?

I became a cardiologist because I had always been fascinated by the logic that underlies the way the circulatory system works. My favorite way of learning is to understand basic principles and then to apply them to solving problems. In some ways, that’s how I got involved in medical research and later in book editing. I think I’ve been most inspired over time by the students, residents, and fellows whom I have trained. You can get a good sense of the future of almost anything by looking at what attracts the best and brightest young people. To me, that’s what’s inspirational about medicine.


Lee Goldman, MD, MPH, joined Columbia in 2006 as the Harold and Margaret Hatch Professor, Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences, and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine.  He received his BA, MD, and MPH degrees from Yale. He did his internal medicine training at UCSF and MGH, and his cardiology training at Yale. From 1978-1995, his positions at Harvard included Professor of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology, while his positions at Brigham and Women’s Hospital included Vice Chair of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer. From 1995-2006, he was the Julius R. Krevans Professor, Chair of Medicine, and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at UCSF.

Dr. Goldman’s research had focused on cardiac risk in non-cardiac surgery, determining which patients with chest pain require hospital admission, establishing priorities for the prevention and treatment of coronary disease, and the scientific basis for the now ubiquitous chest-pain evaluation units and the first academic hospitalist program. More than 45 trainees first-authored peer-reviewed medical publications under his mentorship.

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; and a member of the Institute 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). Dr. Goldman is the lead editor of the Goldman-Cecil Medicine, 25th Edition.

Related Authors: Andrew I. Schafer, MD; James H. Doroshow, MD; Jeffrey Drazen, MD; Robert Griggs, MD; Donald Landry, MD; Wendy Levinson, MD; Allen M. Spiegel, MD