A Lucky Life

by Richard B. Goldbloom

A memoir of one of Canada's most influential pediatricians, a compelling personality whose interests and activities have extended far beyond medicine into community development, theatre and symphonic music.

As a longtime pediatrician, Richard Goldbloom placed a high value on connecting with and communicating with his patients and their parents. His ability to reach an audience is evident in this engaging memoir of his life.

Born and raised in a Jewish medical family in Montreal at a time when the gulf between English and French was deep, Goldbloom's physician father insisted that his children be fluently bilingual. Richard was able to move easily between the two solitudes in his early years as a medical student and a young practitioner.

An astonishing array of relatives, remembered here in loving detail, passed through their Montreal home. Richard recounts how he met the love of his life, Ruth Schwartz of New Waterford, Nova Scotia, the story of their romance, and how he was persuaded to move to Halifax. Richard became Physician-in-Chief of the IWK Children's Hospital, the leading pediatric hospital in the Maritimes. As a hospital administrator he sought to break down some of the stuffy and dysfunctional traditions of the medical world. As a public-spirited citizen, he and Ruth were intimately involved in promoting and advancing Halifax's cultural and intellectual life for decades.

A Lucky Life features many figures from the world of medicine -- and many from the worlds of theatre and classical music, where Richard's contacts were extensive and legendary. This memoir captures the compelling personality of a doctor who understands that healing is an art as much as a science.

About the Author

Richard B. Goldbloom
RICHARD B. GOLDBLOOM, the first physician-in-chief and director of research at the Izaak Walton Killam Hospital for Children in Halifax, is one of Canada's pre-eminent pediatricians. Under his leadership, the IWK became one of Canada's leading centres for pediatric care, teaching and research. But the scope of his interests and contributions has extended far beyond the usual boundaries of his medical specialty. He was founding chair of Halifax's Waterfront Development Corporation and for many years chaired the Rhodes Scholar Selection Committee for the Canadian Maritime provinces. An accomplished amateur musician, he also served as honorary director of Symphony Nova Scotia. Dr. Goldbloom was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1987 in recognition of his pioneering work in regionalization of pediatric care in Nova Scotia. He has received honorary degrees from four universities including his alma mater, McGill University. In 2005, he was honoured by the IWK Health Centre with the naming of a new building as the Richard B. Goldbloom Pavilion for Research and Clinical Care.


"Richard Goldbloom's story is full of fun, relatives, and advice based on experience, kindness, and empathy with children. . . Don't miss this, it's a really great autobiography."
Charlottetown Guardian
"Enriched by his elfish humour, these stories twinkle with joy and shine from his impulse to serve the greater good."
Stuart McLean
"Richard Goldbloom, pediatrician extraordinaire, is also a gifted storyteller. His book is filled with his trademark humour, with sage advice for childrearing and the practice of medicine, stories about his musician friends and recollections of a happy family man. A life well lived . . . a book worth reading!"
Eleanor Wachtel

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