Las Vegas, Nevada neurologist, Dr. Margaret Goodman’s first experience in unarmed combat sports came when she was asked to perform a neurological consultation in 1993 on a high-profile boxer whose bout was canceled the night of the fight due to dizziness. She has remained a strong advocate for fighter health and safety ever since.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Goodman grew up in Southern California. She received a B.A. from University of California at Los Angeles in 1975, a M.D from Chicago Medical School in 1984, completed an Internal Medicine internship and a residency in Neurology in a combined program through the West Los Angeles VA and UCLA in 1988. Moving to Las Vegas in 1988, she began private practice in Neurology, with emphasis on headache management, where she is head of the Headache Center of Southern Nevada.
From 1993-96, Dr. Goodman performed neurological evaluations on famed boxers such as George Foreman, Meldrick Taylor and Thomas Hearns at the request of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, while she trained as a ring physician for amateur boxing. In 1994, she was appointed to the Commission as a professional ring physician—one of a handful of women ring doctors in the world. From 1994-2005, she worked ringside in over five-hundred boxing and mixed martial arts bouts and was the NSAC’s Chief Ringside Physician from 2004-05. In 2001, she was appointed by then Governor Kenny Guinn as the NSAC’s Medical Advisory Chairman and served until her term ended in 2007.
Dr. Goodman was instrumental in establishing cost-effective MRI/MRA testing on fighters, making Nevada the second U.S. jurisdiction to institute routine neuroimaging. On a national level, Dr. Goodman was the Association of Boxing Commission’s Medical Committee co-chairman from 2001-05, then chairman from 2005-06 and Medical Advisor to the International Professional Ring Officials from 2000-2005. She was a consultant to the New York State Attorney General’s Office regarding neurological injuries in boxing in 1999 and the NY State legislature on improving boxing safety in 2001. In 2012 she was appointed to the board of the Association of Ringside Physicians.
In 2005 she received the Boxing Writers Association of America’s James A. Farley Award in recognition of a career marked by “honesty and integrity,” and has been recognized by the Association of Professional Ring Physicians as Educator of the Year. In 2012 she was named as HBO’s The Fight Game’s “Person of the Year.”
Dr. Goodman has appeared on HBO, Showtime, ESPN, Fox sports and Fox News, ABC and CBS, as a recognized expert on boxing and boxing-related injuries. She appeared in HBO’s acclaimed boxing documentary series, Legendary Nights, the 2009 documentary After the Last Round and will soon appear in the upcoming documentary about the career and life of former boxing champion Terry Norris.
Dr. Goodman has given interviews to newspapers, magazines and websites on medical issues as the relate to boxing and MMA including: Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, New York Daily News, LA Times, Newsday, Baltimore Sun, The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Maxim , Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, LA Daily News, LV Review Journal, LV Sun, KO Magazine, Full Contact Fighter, ESPN, the Magazine, Las Vegas Life, TheRingTV.2Craveonline.com, ESPN.com, MaxBoxing.com, No Holds Barred at EddieGoldman.com and FightOpinion.com.
In 2000, Dr. Goodman co-edited and was a contributing author to Ringside and Training Principles, a book prepared under the auspices of the NSAC for fighters, and co-wrote a chapter in the 2009 text Combat Sports Medicine on “The Professional Athlete.” From 2004 to 2012, she wrote a monthly column entitled “The Fight Doctor” for The Ring magazine, as well as many web-based articles on boxing and MMA for sites including, ESPN.com, SI.com, TheRingTV.CraveOnline.com, Secondsout.com and Braggingrightscorner.com.
She has lectured before the North American Boxing Federation, World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation, the Association of Boxing Commissions, U.S. Amateur Boxing Physician Certification Course, American College of Sports Medicine, Association of Professional Ring Physicians, Louisiana Athletic Trainers Association and the American Back Society.
Dr. Goodman currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her hobbies include dressage horseback riding, cooking and raising chickens.