CT News

The Humpty Dumpty Syndrome – a memoir by West Hartford Dr. Morton Goldberg 

Author to speak in West Hartford on June 14

Early in his groundbreaking career as a maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Morton Goldberg coined “The Humpty Dumpty Syndrome” to describe patients whose eggshell-thin facial bones had been damaged by trauma, disease, or malformation.

In his new memoir The Humpty Dumpty Syndrome, the now retired West Hartford physician and dentist recounts a half-century of surgical adventures doing what all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t – putting people back together again.

His story begins in a dark, dusty basement at Harvard Medical School, where an epiphany launched a career that would endure feuding with the powers that be at Harvard Medical and Dental Schools, taming the madness at Bellevue Hospital, and experiencing successes – and failures – in the operating rooms of the University of Connecticut and Hartford Hospital. These patient-focused tales are peopled with professors and bowery derelicts, serial killers and clergy, motorcycle gangs and missionary doctors, and the Surgeon General. 

The nascent art of oral-maxillofacial surgery evolves from being dismissed, trivialized, and underutilized to being in the mainstream of American surgery, despite bitter opposition from dentists and other surgical specialities who vigorously defended their turf and their pocketbooks.

The case-based stories explore the contemporary health issues of guns gone wild, intramural medical conflicts, malpractice madness, the doctor-patient relationship, the poverty-disease equation, drug dependency, domestic violence, and healthcare legislation.

Goldberg will talk about his book at an Oneg Shabbat on June 14, following Friday night services at Beth El Temple, where he has been a member since 1964. Services are held at 7 p.m. Beth El is located at 2626 Albany Ave. For more information email chaisociety@bethelwh.org. Attendance is free and open to the public.

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