Martin Goldberg

June 21, 2013

Martin Goldberg, MD, MACP, a prominent, long-time member of the Temple faculty who served as Dean of Temple University School of Medicine from 1986 to 1989, died on June 16, 2013. 

Growing up in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia, he was the youngest child of Yiddish-speaking immigrant parents, his father a tailor by night, a garment worker by day, and a member of the International Garment Workers.  Dr. Goldberg graduated with honors from Central High School in 1947 and Temple University in 1951.  His humanistic values and desire to cure disease through solid scientific research inspired him to enter the field of medicine. His favorite book—Sinclair Lewis’sArrowsmith—also influenced him in its portrayal of a physician with great energy, purpose, courage and devotion. He graduated from our School of Medicine, the top student in the Class of 1955.

He interned in Internal Medicine at Philadelphia General Hospital, did Medicine residencies at the Cleveland Clinic and Philadelphia General Hospital and a Fellowship in Nephrology at the University of Pennsylvania.  He was then appointed to Penn’s faculty, progressing rapidly through the academic ranks and becoming the Chief of its Renal-Electrolyte Section in 1966. 

In 1979, he was recruited to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to serve as Chair of its Department of Internal Medicine.  He returned to Temple in 1986 to become its eleventh dean and the Vice President of the Health Center.

Following his deanship, Dr. Goldberg returned full-time to clinical nephrology, research, and postgraduate medical education at Temple. His excellence in teaching and his contributions to medicine were celebrated with numerous honors, including the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and the School of Medicine’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.  Perhaps most notably, he was awarded a Mastership in the American College of Physicians, an honor received only one percent of all internists in the United States. 

He retired from the full-time faculty on December 31, 1996, but continued to be active in his post-retirement status, serving as an attending in nephrology, helping to develop the school’s programs in computer assisted instruction, and chairing the Scientific Advisory Committee of the General Clinical Research Center.

He was a triple-threat academician:  clinician, investigator and educator.  He was an internationally-recognized authority in the field of kidney disease and electrolyte metabolism, using the then contemporary techniques of tubular perfusion and electron probe analysis, enhancing the understanding of how drugs affect the kidneys, and publishing well over 200 refereed scientific articles.  He was one of the earliest to recognize the importance of electronic applications in research, education and practice.   He was the person who was always turned to for a particularly difficult problem in electrolyte or acid-base abnormalities.  And in dealing with or teaching about patient care, he never failed to emphasize the humanistic side of medicine.

He had a rich life outside of medicine.  He was an avid tennis and squash player, enjoyed dancing to the Big Bands, mimed old vaudeville acts, taught his Labrador retriever to respond to Yiddish commands, and sang folk music.  His family was paramount.  He had three daughters, Meryl, Karen and Dara, with his first wife Lenina.  Following her death in 1975, he married Marion Lindblad, a psychologist and family therapist, and the two of them had a son, David.

Dr. Goldberg is survived by his wife Marion, his three daughters, one son and two grandchildren.  Burial services were private.

As posted on the Temple University School of Medicine website.