Steve Goldstein, 60, is a pediatric cardiologist and the new dean of Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine. He has worked at Harvard University, Yale University and the University of Chicago, where he was, among other roles, a professor and chair of the department of pediatrics and the founding physician-in-chief of Comer Children’s Hospital. Among his research efforts, Goldstein has identified genetic and mechanistic bases for SIDS in African-Americans. He lives in Hyde Park with his wife, one of his three grown children, plus three dogs, a cat and a bird.
Why did you choose pediatrics?Children are not just engaging—they refuse to accept that they are ill. They fight the disease with you. It resonated with my sense of joie de vivre.
What is the biggest issue in peds?Reimbursement for a procedure on a child is less than the same procedure on an adult, but it often takes longer. Doing heart surgery on an organ the size of a walnut takes special skill and more time. But the return on investment to society is remarkable when you cure a 3-year-old and give them 80 years of life.
Biggest issue in health care overall?To serve the underserved.
What adventure changed your life?When I was 14, I biked through Europe for three months with two friends.
Your parents were OK with that?They felt that kids should be responsible, but I would never have let one of my three do that!
So what happened?One day I was biking downhill when I heard a truck behind me. When I turned around to look, I tumbled over the handlebars and was rolling down the road as the truck was bearing down on me.
And then?I rolled to safety, and we rode on to Stonehenge where we were camping. About midnight I woke up to the sound of people murmuring. The field was filled with thousands of people celebrating the Solstice, including about a hundred Druids in white robes. It felt very mystical.
What do you splurge on?Our home. We live in Frank Lloyd Wright’s (1897) Heller House, and we feel it is an investment in art and history.
What would surprise people about you?I’m learning how to blow glass. Learning to meld the material, to create structures, seems very satisfying to me.
You live a block and a half from the Obamas’ home. Any run-ins with the Secret Service?When Obama was president, my Newfoundland, all 150 pounds of her, climbed over our 8-foot wall and started meandering down Woodlawn toward Obama’s house and all those armed guards. My daughter ran after her, the Secret Service agents got on their walkie-talkies to spread the word. It was incredibly sweet.
Did they make the collar?No, a neighbor walking up a side street said to herself, “I know that bear-like puppy,” and brought her home.