Liz Dufour / APCINCINNATI — The 100-year-old doctor still makes house calls.
He must, explains Dr. Fred Goldman.
That's where the patients are.
"If they're sick and can't leave home," he said, "I go to see them."
They came to see him Dec. 12. Patients, friends and family — some using walkers, some in strollers — gathered in numbers passing the century mark at the office he calls, "the dump," to throw a surprise birthday party for the internist who is the oldest licensed physician practicing medicine in the state of Ohio.
He surprised them. The guest of honor arrived 90 minutes early.
"I almost had a heart attack seeing all of the people in the hall and the waiting room," Goldman said between greeting well-wishers with a question about their health.
How's your ankle?
You still smoking?
"People ask me why do you go to a doctor who's 100?" said Patti Levine, a fourth-generation patient of the doctor. "I tell them, because he's seen it all and he knows everything."
The Blue Ash woman stood by a stroller holding her 10-month-old daughter, Madyson. "She's not his patient," Levine said, "yet."
"He asked me to come work for him in 2007," said 85-year-old Dr. Leo Wayne. That's the year Wayne retired and Goldman, at the age of 96, cut back from five, eight-hour days a week to three.
"I told him I would not work for him," Wayne added. "I'm too young."
Would he prescribe retirement for his older friend and colleague?
"I would not dream of advising him to retire," Wayne replied. "Dr. Goldman is an excellent diagnostician. He knows his patients, including himself. He knows this patient is still up to the task."
As the birthday doctor worked the waiting and the hallway, his guests peppered him with questions.
How does it feel to be 100?
He examined both of his hands. He squeezed one. Then, the other.
"Don't feel anything different," he said with a sly smile.
"Most people my age," he added, "can't feel anything. They're dead."
The crowd laughed. So, did the 100-year-old birthday boy.
When Fred Goldman was literally a birthday boy, he was born on Dec. 12, 1911, at his family's home on Ninth Street in the West End.
"My mother — a housewife — was from Poland. My father — a shopkeeper — was from Russia," he said, "and I was from both of them."
A doctor since 1935
On the day the good doctor was born, another native Cincinnatian, William Howard Taft, waddled about the White House as the 27th President of the United States. Czar Nicholas II sat on the throne in Russia. George V, Queen Elizabeth II's grandfather, reigned as the King of England. Sun Yat-Sen had just been elected the