Community, nation celebrate med student Peter Gold’s heroism

Alexa Christianson, Associate News Editor

Euric Cain directed a gun to Tulane Medical Student Peter Gold’s head, with one shot already fired into Gold’s stomach, when the gun inexplicably jammed multiple times.

Security footage of the Nov. 20 crime was released soon after it became publicly known. In the video, Gold stops his car at approximately 4 a.m. at the intersection of Magazine and St. Mary streets, gets out and confronts Cain, who, out of the video frame, is dragging a woman into his car. That’s when Cain turned on Gold. Gold was left in critical condition. Gold was recently discharged from University Medical Center and is on his way to a full recovery, according to a family member to media.

“I think that he’s selfless, compassionate,” said Dr. Marc Kahn, Tulane School of Medicine senior associate dean, who worked with Gold. “He’s truly a hero. He’s taught the [Tulane medical community] about the importance of resilience. He’s taught them the importance of showing compassion for fellow human beings.”

Gold’s actions have sparked a national celebration of him as a good Samaritan. It was a hot topic among national news sources, featured by The New York Times, ABC, Time magazine and CNN, and trending on social media.

Tic-Toc Cafe in Metairie, Louisiana had a large outdoor sign with a message to Gold: “You saved a woman’s life without using a stethoscope. You’re gonna be a great doctor! Get well soon!”

Owner Mike Delahoussaye said he chose the message after he saw the graphic security footage.

“I saw that chilling, chilling video and it had a tremendous effect on me,” Delahoussaye said. “I had a roller coaster of emotions, from extreme anger to profound gratitude for [Gold].”

Gold, now in his fourth year, completed a Bachelor of Arts in sociology with a minor in Jewish Studies at Tulane in 2012, and graduated summa cum laude and a part of the Phi Beta Kappa honors society for liberal arts and sciences.

Gold’s roots run deep at Tulane. His sister also attended Tulane as an undergraduate. His father, an ophthalmologist, completed his own medical degree at Tulane, where he met Gold’s mother.

As an undergraduate, Gold was an active student leader at Tulane Hillel, a brother of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity and studied abroad in Prague. He was part of the Creative Premedical Scholars Program, which guarantees admission to Tulane’s medical school and requires a major in the liberal arts and an honors thesis. Gold’s thesis was titled “Role-Playing: Men and Women’s Use of Social Media Networks in Cellular Phones.”

“From day one, he was always a very polite, sweet guy,” Kathleen Maier, a pre-health advisor who worked with Gold, said. “If I walked by him and he was jogging, he would talk to me and say hi. He always knew he wanted to be a physician. He just has that kind of personality, is caring.”

Between completing his undergraduate degree and beginning medical school, Gold conducted stem cell research and has been matched to a residency in orthopedic surgery. The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has published his research in orthopedics.

Kahn was part of the committee to interview Gold for the Creative Premedical Scholars Program and has been in correspondence with him at the medical school.

“He’s a very personable guy,” Kahn said. “We look for maturity; he has that.”

At the medical school, Gold is on the student admissions board, works in the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine teaching kitchen and volunteers in student clinics frequently.

Euric Cain is currently being held without bail on charges of armed robbery, second-degree kidnapping and attempted first-degree murder. His girlfriend Nictoria Washington was also arrested on charges of being an accessory to the crime.

Gold’s selflessness will not soon be forgotten in New Orleans or among the students, staff and faculty at Tulane.

“In this crazy world we live in, it’s good to have somebody there for you,” Maier said. “We all need to be taken care of at some point, and to help each other.”

The Gold family declined to comment for this article.

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