Phil Goodman
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Dr. Phil Goodman passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack on August 18, 2010 in Reno, NV. He was born in Chicago, IL in 1954 to Leonard and Sydelle Goodman.
From an early age he was fascinated by electronics and science and was licensed as a ham radio operator at the age of 14. He attended the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana for one year before transferring to UC Irvine where he graduated with a BS in Biology and a BA in Physics. He attended Medical School at UC Irvine and completed his Internal Medicine Residency there as well.
Phil demonstrated a lifelong hunger for knowledge. After his residency, he began his long association as a researcher and teacher with the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine in 1983. In order to enhance his abilities as a researcher, he completed his MS in Statistics from University of Michigan School of Public Health in 1988. As a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow, he served as a health policy advisor in the US Senate in 1989. He was appointed to a full professorship at UNR in 1995. He completed a fellowship in Neuroscience at the Institute for Neuroinformatics at UZ/ETH, Zurich, Switzerland in 1997. His research over the years was primarily concerned with illuminating the neuronal basis for human cognition, a subject on which he collaborates with multiple international colleagues and has numerous publications.
As part of his duties as Professor of Medicine, Phil supervised the clinical training of medical students and residents at Washoe Medical Center, and later Renown. Phil was an early proponent of the focus on hospitalist care as a specialty and was a Fellow of Hospital Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. The teaching and training of future physicians was as important to him as his research.
The most important part of his life was his family, to whom he gave boundless devotion, guidance and love. His marriage to Nancy Brick in 1982 in Riverside, California marked the beginning of a long and loving partnership. Their two daughters, Sara and Anne, were the center of their world. He shared with his family his love of knowledge and learning, and taught them to see the beauty in their daily lives. No matter how busy he was, his dedication to his family was paramount in his priorities.
Phil was a former ski patrolman, an avid outdoorsman and athlete. One of the reasons he was drawn to Reno was its proximity to the mountains where he cross-country skied at Royal Gorge every winter. He enjoyed the study of Aikido for many years and was also the proud founder of the Single-Malt Scotch Tasters of Reno, Chapter III.
He is survived by his wife Nancy; daughters Sara and Anne; mother Sydelle Goodman; sisters Lauri Grenner (Robert), Jeri Kuddes (Mike), and Susy Levinstein (Tom); father-in-law Isidore Brick; sister-in-law Marilyn Taft (Kyle), as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
A celebration of his life will be held on Wednesday, August 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Honor Court on the UNR campus. Phil would want everyone to be comfortable in this beautiful outdoor setting, so please dress casually. At his behest, there will be brief remarks and then a gathering of friends, colleagues and family.
To honor Dr. Goodman's lifelong dedication to outstanding research and medicine, his family is directing the establishment of the Philip H. Goodman Award in Postgraduate Research. The family respectfully requests that memorial contributions be made to this cause in lieu of flowers.
For contribution information and for directions to the celebration please see
For those who wish to send memories or photos of Dr. Goodman to his family to be placed in a keepsake book, please send them to

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Published in the Reno Journal-Gazette and Mason Valley News on Aug. 24, 2010.