For Healthcare Sim Week, Laerdal Honors Recent Loss of Pioneer Dr. Gordon

In honor of Dr. Michael S. Gordon, who suddenly passed on July 7th, Laerdal created a special online dedication for his remembrance during the celebration of Healthcare Simulation Week.  Director of the Gordon Center, Dr. Barry Issenberg, shared “Michael Gordon demonstrated over his career the ability not only to do things, but to do the things that most needed to be done. As a leader in the field of medicine, Michael inspired others to dream more, to do more, to learn more, and to become more. “

Laerdal Remembers a Great Mentor, Leader, and Friend in Simulation:

This year’s inaugural Healthcare Simulation Week, sponsored by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, focuses on celebrating professionals who use simulation to improve the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of healthcare delivery.

We at Laerdal can think of no better way to introduce this week than to remember the life and work of Michael S. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., a remarkable mentor, leader, and friend in simulation.

Over his long and distinguished career at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Gordon, revolutionized medical education around the world. Founder and director emeritus of the Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education, Dr. Gordon died suddenly on July 7, 2017, at age 80. He will be sorely missed.  

About Dr. Gordon

A native of Chicago, Gordon planned to become a research biochemist and earned his doctorate before training with renowned cardiologist Proctor Harvey, M.D., his mentor and the “godfather” of the patient simulator. Robert Boucek, M.D., the chair of cardiology at the time, invited Gordon to join the UM faculty in 1966, launching his remarkable academic career.


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In the 1980s, Gordon went on to develop a computer-based learning system, now called UMedic, which provides Web-based training for cardiology, neurology, and emergency medicine skills worldwide. Always seeking better ways to provide cardiology care, Gordon worked with Miami Fire Rescue Chief Carlos Gimenez (now Miami-Dade mayor) in the early 1990s to change the training for first responders.

“Before then, paramedics were taught to ‘scoop and run,’ taking a patient to the emergency department, where doctors could initiate treatment,” he said. “We changed that model, and developed a life-saving protocol for handling heart attacks and other medical emergencies on the spot.”

That initiative grew to become the Gordon Center’s Emergency Medical Skills Training Programs, which now reach professionals in 600 Florida agencies, as well as 800-plus in other states and international locations. In these training programs, paramedics diagnose problems using actors to play the role of patients.

The center has also been designated as the lead training center for the Florida Department of Health’s Emergency Response to Terrorism training program, and trains U.S. Army Forward Surgical Trauma Teams before their front-line deployments.

“By better training those who serve and protect our citizens and our country, we have been able to contribute to a major reduction in mortality,” said Gordon, adding that medical personnel trained at the Gordon Center and who lost their lives in combat are honored on the center’s Wall of Heroes.

Visit the Laerdal Remembrance Page for a Tribute of Dr. Gordon’s Work


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