Father and Son, Doctor to Doctor: a Conversation on Legacy
Dr. Samuel Broder displays badges from his career at Baystate Health, from orderly to senior emergency medicine resident.
For the Broder family, a life of fulfillment seems to have a common thread that weaves through each generation – healthcare. Specifically for Dr. Martin Broder and Dr. Samuel Broder, that thread led them both to Baystate Medical Center.
Dr. Marty Broder is retired from a long career as a cardiologist and medical educator while Dr. Sam Broder is a senior emergency medicine resident at the Harold Grinspoon & Diane Troderman Adult Emergency Department. For both, healthcare—and the desire to help others—was engrained within them from an early age.
“My earliest conscious memory was wanting to be a doctor. I had absolutely no idea what lay behind it,” shared Marty. “My mother told me that even at age 4, I always carried two handkerchiefs in my pocket—one was for me and one was to help other people blow their noses.”
Sam’s pathway to medicine started as his interest was sparked by his family.
“Growing up with a father who is a physician and a mom who is an attorney who specialized in health care law, end of life care and ethics, the dinner time conversation was about healthcare and helping people,” said Sam, who went on to become an orderly in Baystate Medical Center’s emergency department, followed by becoming an EMT, paramedic, a medical student, and now a resident.
Sam’s mother, Marian, also spent some time with Baystate Health, working on the Institutional Review Board. Additionally, Sam’s three older sisters all work in health professions, including psychotherapy, radiology, and pediatrics. His spouse, Dr. Alecia Hagman, is also a resident in Baystate Health’s OB/GYN program.
Following the Heart
Marty followed his heart when it came to the direction his career took, sharing that if you asked him why he picked the heart, he would say the heart picked him. However, there was another element that provided him with fulfillment and joy in his career.
“Sometimes people ask me if I wouldn’t have been a doctor, what would I have been? The answer that comes very easily and quickly is that I would have been a teacher,” said Marty. “There is something about working with medical students and residents and seeing the lightbulb of understanding turn on in their heads. To me, that was fun.”
For Sam, Marty’s expertise was an exciting way that he could expand his knowledge, especially when he began working as a paramedic.
“I would bring my EKGs home at the end of the night and read them with him, which was a phenomenal opportunity,” shared Sam.
Sam has even worked with some physicians that were mentored by his father, including Dr. William McGee who works in critical care medicine. At one point, Sam was checking in on patients in the Intensive Care Unit and working with Dr. McGee. Sam was sharing his thoughts on next steps when Dr. McGee said, “Well, you know what I think.” Sam responded by saying “I’m here to learn what you would do.” To which Dr. McGee shared: “You know who taught me how to think about patients and what to do? Your dad.”
“It was a nice moment,” shared Sam. “To feel that lineage of medical education … The knowledge is probably different from what my dad taught Dr. McGee years ago – it’s probably different drugs, different interventions, different scans but—and I can hear my father saying this—the process is the same. The lineage of that process going from my father’s mentors to my mentors now and then to me is very satisfying and comforting.”
The interdisciplinary element of the work Sam does at Baystate Medical Center has truly enhanced his educational experience.
“We are really fortunate at Baystate to have such a strong community between any individual residency and all the other residencies. The way our rotations are scheduled makes it so that by the time I’m in my second or third year, I know the name of everybody I am speaking to on the phone,” said Sam. “We have an appreciation of each other’s strengths, and where we all can help one another learn. That’s the benefit of being in an academic environment.”
“If you figure out a way to create the environment that Sam was just talking about—the collegiality and the teamwork—it is astonishing what can be accomplished,” he shared. “Because of the atmosphere, the collegiality, the teamwork, we became a world-class institution that we should be very proud of.”
A legacy of learning lives on
Though Marty retired a few years ago, his legacy continues to leave a mark on the health system, including through the Dr. Martin I. Broder Education Fund created in his honor.
“The fund that supports an Education Day in my name has meant a great deal to me personally; it tells me that my institution puts a premium on education as being as important as the content of any medical field,” said Marty.
This level of education is crucial, especially as the world and its healthcare needs continue to evolve. Meeting the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic has created an especially challenging environment to be working in medicine.
“Every day we are getting new knowledge,” shared Sam. “We are very fortunate at Baystate to have some of the brightest minds in emergency medicine, research and education in our department. Daily we were getting updates from Dr. [Lauren] Westafer [emergency services physician] about the literature and all the studies coming out of New York and Europe. I would study for a couple hours before each shift to catch up on the development of real-time medical knowledge. I don’t know when this has last happened to this extent in medicine.”
“The pace of change—sometimes hour by hour, day by day—has never been this rapid and it’s never been this global,” shared Marty. “This is unprecedented in my professional lifetime.”
With Sam’s work, the education now goes both ways.
“I always learn something from him,” shared Marty, “when we talk about cases.”
However, Sam shares, he still has some time before he can achieve the level of knowledge and expertise of his father.
“It always cracks me up when internal medicine attending physicians or residents call me back for a consultation or an admission and they think I know everything my dad does, like it’s genetic” laughed Sam. “I always have to share ‘Well, this is the other Dr. Broder…’.”
For this father and son — Dr. Martin Broder and Dr. Samuel Broder — core values are at the heart of all they do — dedication, mutual respect, and a commitment to always learning in order to ensure the best care possible to their patients.
Like many community members who care deeply about Baystate Health, the Broders’ story — their legacy — includes planning for Baystate’s future. As part of their legacy, Dr. Martin Broder and wife Marian Broder have shaped a gift to Baystate Health Foundation in their estate plans to support medical education through the Dr. Martin I. Broder Education Fund.
Have a legacy story you want to share? Want to know how to carry on your values with a charitable gift? Reach out to Kylie Johnson at 413-794-7789 or Kylie.Johnson@BaystateHealth.org for a confidential conversation.
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