Jason S. Goldfeder, MD, a revered teacher in the Division of Medical Education of the Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, died Dec. 9, 2015, following a 12-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was 45.
An assistant professor of medicine, Goldfeder died peacefully at his home in Ladue, supported by his wife, best friend and devoted caregiver, Nguyet Minh Nguyen, MD, also an assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine.
Goldfeder joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1998 and served for several years as director of the university’s Wohl Clinic. For nearly a decade, he directed the internal medicine board review course. And in 2003, he was appointed associate program director of the internal medicine residency program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital (BJH), where he served as an attending physician for many years.
He was regarded as an outstanding clinician and teacher and was credited with developing curriculum in several important areas of internal medicine for medical students and house staff. In 2005, he was named Teacher of the Year in the internal medicine residency program at BJH. An annual honor in his name — the Dr. Jason S. Goldfeder Outstanding Senior Resident in Outpatient Medicine award — was initiated in 2007.
Goldfeder also served as a reviewer for the American Board of Internal Medicine and as an editor for WebEBM clinical practice guidelines and the Journal of the National Medical Association.
He shared his knowledge and love of teaching overseas, as well, with the development of an internal medicine curriculum for a new medical school in Asmara, Eritrea.
His passion to educate also led to his involvement in the School of Medicine’s Mini-Medical School, a program open to people of many ages and backgrounds. Goldfeder offered his perspective as a patient with ALS. He also shared his experience with the debilitating disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease during an annual lecture for second-year medical students at the university.
Goldfeder stepped down from full-time work in 2007 but volunteered in the Wohl Clinic through 2010. From April 2011 until his death, he continued to participate in house staff education by helping with board exam preparation.
“Jason was well-known as having an outstanding fund of knowledge of pathophysiology, diagnostic methods and internal medicine therapies,” said Victoria J. Fraser, MD, the Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine and head of the Department of Medicine. “He was a gracious, patient and committed educator who made tremendous contributions in medical education. He battled ALS for the past 12 years but remained extraordinarily active and engaged in medical education here throughout his illness.
“Up until the last couple of weeks, Jason had been continuing to send out his superb board review questions and answers to the medicine house staff to support their career development,” Fraser continued. “He was an extraordinary clinician and teacher and an extremely important leader in the Division of Medical Education and the Medicine Clinics.”
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Goldfeder earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude and earning election to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency at BJH.
Goldfeder is survived by his wife; his mother and stepfather, Judy and Arthur Sales; father and stepmother, Ron and Sherye Goldfeder; a brother, Greg (Allison) Goldfeder; stepsisters Deborah (Matthew) Graver, Lori (David) Kline and Tami (David) Palkovitz; a stepbrother, Craig Frand; and several in-laws, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at Bopp Chapel, 10610 Manchester Road, Kirkwood. Friends will be invited to share informal remembrances at 5 p.m.
Memorial contributions in his honor may be made to The ALS Association; St. Louis Regional Chapter; 2258 Weldon Parkway; St. Louis, MO 63146; or Washington University-Division of Medical Education; Attn: Helen Liu; 7425 Forsyth Blvd., Ste. 2100; St. Louis, MO 63105.