Dr. Gordon

To commemorate the man and the legacy behind the Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education, we revisit who he was and the vision that still impacts the community today, two years after his passing.

“Michael’s impact was truly far reaching…with the thousands of residents, doctors and emergency personnel that he mentored and help train over the years,” shared University of Miami President Julio Frenk. “Many have stories about his passion and drive, but even more recall his humanity.”

Barry Issenberg, M.D., Director of the Gordon Center concurs. “How much joy it gave him to know he was leaving a legacy. And by that legacy, Michael meant each of us. Michael knew and appreciated that to go further, you go together.”

Michael S. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., revolutionized medical education not only in Miami, but around the world. As a cardiologist, Gordon recognized that simulators could help medical students improve their cardiac examination skills and in 1968, Gordon built his first mannequin simulator “Harvey,” named after his mentor Proctor Harvey, M.D. But “Harvey” was just the beginning. In the 1980s, the Chicago native developed a computer-based learning system called UMedic, an innovative computer- and web-based program to train physicians, emergency responders and military personnel to save lives.

Gordon’s vision to create a place where innovation, simulation and education come together ultimately came to fruition when he founded the Michael S. Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education at the University of Miami in the late 1960s. “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 prior to his passing.

“Mike Gordon made a difference,” stated Carlos Gimenez, retired Miami Fire Rescue Chief and current Miami-Dade County Mayor. “The fire rescue personnel that come to your house, most of them were trained at the Gordon Center and we see some of the most advanced medical training in the world at the Gordon Center….thousands and thousands of lives have been saved by Mike Gordon. Their quality of life has been [made] better by Mike Gordon.”

Because of the remarkable foundation Gordon has laid, it is the goal of the Center to carry out his mission every day and honor his legacy as physician, educator, and visionary. Highlights of the past two years include:

Gordon’s worldwide consortium of physicians, nurses, engineers, and educators known as the M.I.A.M.I. Group (Miami International Alliance for Medical-Education Innovation) continues to meet for the development of the Harvey curriculum and computer-based training programs.

  • On June 28-30, 2019 the Gordon Center together with the Miller School of Medicine and School of Nursing and Health Studies partnered with Humanitarian U for a three-day disaster/humanitarian simulation training for healthcare providers to learn how to navigate difficult circumstances and better administer medical assistance to those impacted by disaster.
  • The Gordon Center’s Section of Tactical Emergency Medicine hosted a series of tactical and medical training that can help save lives during an active shooter event. The first-of-its-kind curriculum was developed by the Gordon Center in collaboration with law enforcement, fire rescue, EMS and the US military. Trainings were held across Florida in Melbourne, Tallahassee, Coral Gables and Tavernier.
  • The Gordon Center continues to be 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. 

Gordon’s wife holds her late husband and his legacy close to her heart. Lynda Gordon said: “If we don’t remember our past, we can’t appreciate the present and the future becomes uncertain.” And Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., Dean, Miller School of Medicine agrees. “[Michael] exhibited all the values that we hold dear and that I think we should import to our future doctors so that they can really become transformational leaders who can help direct health systems in the future.”

A touching remembrance of Michael S. Gordon, M.D. Ph.D.

A joyful musical celebration of the life and legacy of Michael S. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D. was hosted by Mrs. Lynda Gordon, the GCRME and the Frost School of Music on October 12, 2018
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