• Donald Baim, Interventional Cardiology Pioneer, Remembered by SCAI

    November 09, 2009

    The SCAI community was saddened to learn of the untimely death of our colleague and friend Dr. Don Baim on November 6, 2009. Dr. Baim was a pioneer of our profession and for many years was a dedicated, compassionate caregiver. More recently, since 2006 he played a leadership role as chief medical director at Boston Scientific. Previously, Dr. Baim had a distinguished clinical career at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

    In a written statement, his family said that he died following surgery to treat adrenal cancer. Dr. Baim's memorial service was held Monday November 9 in Canton, Massachusetts. Dr. Bonnie Weiner represented SCAI at the service. Further details are online at: www.legacy.com/obituaries

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 20 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701

    Dr. Baim was one of the founders of our profession, and had a deep commitment to SCAI since joining the Society in 1984 and advancing to Fellowship (FSCAI) status soon thereafter. In addition to authoring or co-authoring forty-one articles in SCAI's journal, Dr. Baim served on many SCAI committees as a key contributor to the Society's guidelines, quality standards and professional education programs over the years.

    The capstone of Dr. Baim's involvement with SCAI was his service as one of two keynote speakers at SCAI's 30th Annual Scientific Sessions in May 2007. In his lecture, Dr. Baim focused on major breakthroughs, short-lived disappointments, and future developments in interventional cardiology, from his vantage point of a three-decades career.

    Perhaps the best way to remember Dr. Baim is with his own words from that memorable 30th anniversary speech:

    "Looking back, I'm struck that we as interventional cardiologists have never simply accepted the limitations placed before us. We've always tried to overcome them through creative thinking - and then to subject the results of that creativity to the crucible of evidence-based medicine, knowing that sometimes we'll win, and sometimes we'll lose, but, always, we'll move forward.

    "The progress is not over. It's continuing every day, and interventional cardiologists need to stay plugged into this evolution and participate in it. No one can afford to be a fly in amber at any point in this evolution."

    Don embraced the field of interventional cardiology, and was instrumental in helping new technologies mature and scientifically evaluating outcomes. His enthusiasm and insight will be missed.

    On behalf of our entire community, SCAI expresses deepest condolences to Dr. Baim's family, friends, and his colleagues at Boston Scientific. He will be deeply missed.


    Steven R Bailey MD FACC FSCAI
    Chief, Division of Cardiology
    Janey Briscoe Distinguished Chair of Cardiovascular Research
    Professor of Medicine and Radiology