Paying Tribute to David Rosenbaum, a Leader in Electrophysiology

Ileana L. Piña, MD, MPH


May 25, 2012

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Hello. I am Ileana Piña, from Montefiore Einstein Medical Center in the Bronx, and this is my monthly blog. I usually sit here and tell you about the exciting things that are happening in our science world. I talk to you about meetings, news, and events, but today I want to do something different. I want to pay tribute to a dear colleague and friend who passed away this last week, and that was Dr. David Rosenbaum. Having lived in Cleveland for 12 years before coming to New York, I had the opportunity to interact with Dr. Rosenbaum many times. It is fitting to give tribute to this man.

He was a scientist and a researcher who was bent on trying to find out about arrhythmias and heart failure, which is what I do. Arrhythmias very often kill our patients. We make decisions about putting in implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) or not putting in ICDs, and he had observed that if certain potentials were not present, the chances of an arrhythmic event were very small. He presented this quite a few years ago. He was always dedicated to trying to find the right thing for the patients.

As a leader and as chief of the MetroHealth Heart & Vascular Center, he truly excelled. He was very dedicated to the young investigators as a mentor and as a leader, and what do leaders do? They set the example, and David certainly set the example of thoughtfulness, science, and ethics, and, above all, supported his staff and his fellows to the upmost. I had the opportunity to interact with him, both at scientific meetings and socially. He was dedicated to his family and a truly lovely gentleman. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to interact with him, to have known him. My deepest sympathies go to Anita and his sons and all those who have been working with him all these years. He will truly be missed. David received a Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously last night here at the Heart Rhythm Society meeting, which is where I am speaking to you from.

Goodbye, David. We will surely miss you. The science world will miss you and I will too.