Thomas Gouge

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To begin where I left off.

Although it has been 25 years, it doesn’t seem that long. Many changes and much still the same. Maybe that is because becoming and then being a surgeon has been what I have been about since 1966. Medical school, surgical residency and practicing as an academic surgeon at New York University Medical Center occupied much of the time. I completed 40 years on the faculty, the last 15 as Surgeon in Chief at the New York Veterans Medical Center. The other titles make it sound like more than it was – Professor of Surgery, Associate Chairman for Education and Chief of General Surgery for the NYU Medical Center – but academic surgery offered the opportunity to travel and make friends around the world. By 2014, I had had enough of the government and institutional bureaucracy. I kept my tenured title as Professor and retired. Joanne and I left the next day to spend the winter in the New Zealand summer. The time off was a good diversion but it was obvious that just being retired was not a viable option, so I switched hospitals and medical schools to Lenox Hill Hospital and the new Northwell Hofstra Medical School as Vice Chair and Senior Advisor. I continue to teach, which is what I have enjoyed most. I don’t miss the operating room, committee meetings or the 3 AM calls. THG Nora's wedding

Joanne and I still split our time between New York City and Bridgehampton, although we did move from the East Side to Central Park West after the girls were grown and moved away. Only in Manhattan would moving half a mile be a topic of conversation.

Outside of medicine, we have been working on our gardens in Bridgehampton for 37 years now and they are beginning to shape up.

I still enjoy sports – racquet sports, golf, sailing, and skiing even though I have never gotten any better at them-and activities less strenuous-good food, good wine, good music and good company at home and abroad.

I am thankful for my girls and for the new things that have come into my life – new hip, new aortic valve and a new generation – granddaughter Fiona Anne Moore, potentially Brearley ’33 Hamilton ’37.

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