John Samuel Gould

John Samuel Gould May 10, 1939 - Sept. 29, 2015


John Samuel Gould, MD, died at home in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, on September 29, after an eight month illness. A private burial was held on October 1st at Southern Heritage Cemetery in Pelham, Alabama.

Dr. Gould was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, on May 10, 1939. He spent most of his boyhood in St. Johnsbury, until his family moved to Massachusetts where his father began a residency in orthopaedic surgery. At 13, Dr. Gould attended Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire, graduating in 1954. He went on to major in biology and graduate from Harvard College (Cambridge, Massachusetts) as a member of the Class of 1960 and Dunster House. While there, John played varsity lacrosse, participated in intramural athletics, and did some sports journalism. John then earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Vermont Medical School in Burlington, finishing in 1964. He began an internship in general surgery at Boston City Hospital that year, and met and married his wife, Sheryl Hartford, in 1965. At the completion of his internship and one more year of general surgery, Dr. Gould joined the US Navy and was stationed in San Diego, California. During the first year of his two year assignment he served as medical officer aboard the heavy guided missile cruiser, USS Canberra which was deployed to Viet Nam. During that time he earned the Navy Commendation Medal for outstanding performance in the care of war casualties. After his time in the Navy, Dr. Gould began a 3 year residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He then joined his father in private practice in Brockton, Massachusetts for three years, after which time he decided to specialize in orthopaedic hand surgery, and began a one year fellowship at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Upon completion of the fellowship he was recruited to join the faculty at UAB in the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1975. At that time, he was the only formally trained orthopaedic hand surgeon in the state of Alabama. He began a fellowship training program at the University, and subsequently sent many outstanding hand surgeons to practice throughout the state as well as in other Southeastern states. He was promoted to full Professor of Surgery in 1982. He remained chief of the Hand Section until 1986. He was then recruited to be Chief of The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. During his time in Milwaukee he began to change his focus from hand surgery to surgery of the foot and ankle, instituting a fellowship for orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery at the Medical College. He headed that orthopaedic program for 10 years, and then decided to return to Birmingham to join Alabama Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center until 2004. He then joined Orthopaedic Specialists of Alabama at Baptist Montclair Hospital. In 2006 he rejoined UAB, this time as Chief of the Foot and Ankle Section of the Orthopaedic Division. There he treated hand, and foot and ankle patients, with a special interest in nerve problems and total joint replacement for arthritic ankles. He was awarded the title Professor Emeritus of the UAB School of Medicine by the Board of Trustees on November 7, 2014.

Dr. Gould lectured extensively throughout the world during his career, and received innumerable honors and appointments. He served as President of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, of the Clinical Orthopaedic Society, of the Mid America Orthopaedic Association, and of the Alabama Orthopaedic Society. He received the Outstanding Southern Orthopaedist Award of the Southern Orthopaedic Association, the Academic Achievement Award from the University of Vermont Medical Alumni Association and the Academic Achievement Award of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Writing was one of his greatest passions, and he had a true gift for it. He was Editor in Chief of the journal, Microsurgery (1986-1996), the American Journal of Orthopaedics (1996-2006), Foot and Ankle Editor for Orthopaedic Knowledge Online Journal, and authored four professional books: "The Foot Book" Williams and Wilkins, 1988; "Operative Foot Surgery" W.B. Saunders, 1994; "My First Love: The Art, The Practice, and The Ethics of Medicine" Seacoast Publishers, 2004; and "The Handbook of Foot and Ankle Surgery: An Intellectual Approach to Complex Problems" Jaypee Bros. 2013. He also self-published "The Medical College of Wisconsin: The Gould Years", where he described his ten years as chief of that department.

On a personal level, Dr. Gould wrote three volumes of a Gould Family History and John S. Gould Autobiography, which he completed in 2014 and also self-published. Finally, he wrote a novel, "Kovno Gaberna", which was accepted for publication in 2014, and is in the process of being published. Unfortunately, he never saw the finished product, but the joy he had in the writing of his first novel was satisfaction enough for him. Another of his passions was teaching. He loved being with his students - the residents and fellows of both of the academic institutions where he was professor, as well as so many ancillary people who were involved in his patients' care. It was not only the finest medical/surgical techniques that he taught, but equally important to him was imparting to his students the highest ethical standards of the practice of Orthopaedics. He was equally eager to share his knowledge and standards of practice with his colleagues around the country and the world, and did so on a regular basis at the hundreds of meetings he attended and visiting professorships where he was invited to speak.

Dr. Gould was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Nathaniel and Edith Marion Gould. He leaves his wife and loving companion of 50 years, Sheryl, and their four children: Elisabeth Rachel Fowler (Michael) of Birmingham, Katherine Rebecca Mathews (Joe Bill) of Sylva, North Carolina, Carolyn Virginia Burton (David) of Atlanta, Georgia, and John William Nathaniel Gould (Alexandra) of Franklin, Tennessee; and seven grandchildren: Frances Claire Fowler, Abigail Hartford Fowler, Benjamin Luther Mathews, Timothy Samuel Gould, Charlotte Rose Gould, August Nathaniel Burton, and Halsey Thomas Burton.

John and Sheryl savored their summers at Joe's Pond in West Danville, Vermont, enjoying the country life, playing golf, paddling their kayaks, and taking evening cruises on their pontoon boat, the "Edith Marion".

A celebration of John's remarkable life will take place beginning at 5:30PM on November 14, 2015 at Pine Tree Country Club, 5100 Pine Whispers Drive, Birmingham, Alabama, 35210. Please consider sending donations in Dr. Gould's name to the "St. Vincent's Foundation of Alabama", for the care of cancer patients, 1 Medical Park Drive East, Birmingham, Alabama, 35235; or to The University of Vermont Foundation to the Endowed Sheryl and John Gould Scholarship for Medical Students, c/o Meredyth Armitage, Given Building, S-160, 89 Beaumont Avenue, Burlington, VT 05405.

The Birmingham News October 2, 2015