Old Fashioned Medicine – How I Remember It

A Tribute to Saul Solomon, M. D.

I wish there was more time—time to be a husband, a father, a friend and to be a doctor. I grew up in a different era. When I was 4 years and too sick to go to school our family doctor, Dr. Solomon, made house calls! He charged us 3 to 5 dollars but often accepted payment in the form of chicken noodle soup. And though he was often quite busy he managed to become an integral part of my family’s life.

When I turned 5 he drove me and my family to Beth El Hospital in Brooklyn (now Brookdale) and later took out my tonsils while my parents paced in the lobby. I stayed in the hospital overnight and he gave my parents—who never owned a car- -a lift back to their apartment on Sackman Street. The next day he discharged me and drove me home to my parents—I still remember the “ice cream reward” he gave me for being a good patient. Sounds unbelievable; doesn’t it? It really happened. I don’t know how he had the time to do all this but I remember feeling that our family was very special to him.

He saw us through my brother’s mental illness, my father’s prostate surgery, my mother’s hypertension and depression. And in 1971, during my junior year at Brooklyn College, he helped me pick a medical school—and that’ how I ended up at the University of Rochester. The story’s a bit more complex but let’s save it for another time.

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