Remembering Donald Baim

Donald S. Baim M.D., was a leading figure in the history of interventional cardiology, and a key contributor to both the clinical and research accomplishments in this field.

Following his training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Stanford University, he was recruited to the Harvard Medical School Faculty in 1981 to establish an Interventional Cardiology program at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital, now the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Dr. Baim served at Beth Israel Hospital for nearly 20 years.  At Beth Israel, he served as Acting Director of the Coronary Care Unit, Associate Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, Professor of Medicine, and Chief of the Interventional Cardiology Section.

Under his leadership, the interventional cardiology program earned international recognition for the evaluation of new interventional devices.  Dr. Baim trained more than 60 Fellows, many of whom are now also internationally recognized leaders in the field. He served as editor of the definitive textbook in the field – Grossman’s Cardiac Catheterization, Angiography and Intervention, and authored more than 300 peer-review articles.

During this time, Dr. Baim collaborated with Richard Kuntz, M.D. to co-found the Cardiovascular Data Analysis Center (CDAC) at Beth Israel Hospital in 1993.  Under their leadership, CDAC became the industry leader in the design and management of clinical trials of new device technology within interventional cardiology.  

In 2000, CDAC was spun out and became the Harvard Clinical Research Institute, an independent not-for-profit research organization, reflecting its broader role with all of the Harvard teaching hopsitals.  Concurrently Dr. Baim moved his clinical activities to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he served as Senior Physician.  In addition to being an Advisor to us, Dr. Baim continued in an active role, serving as HCRI’s Chief Scientific Officer in 2005 and 2006.

Dr. Baim joined Boston Scientific in July 2006 as Executive Vice President and its Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, where he continued his passion for device development and improving clinical outcomes through carefully designed clinical research. As Dr. Baim announced when he joined Boston Scientific:  “I do not leave a lifetime career in academic medicine lightly, but I am convinced I can have a greater impact on the development of revolutionary health care technologies by becoming a member of the leadership team of what is now one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers.”

Dr. Baim received his Medical degree from Yale University.  He was awarded an honorary Masters of Arts degree from Harvard University. His undergraduate work was in physics at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Baim was regarded by his peers as an outstanding physician who helped thousands of patients, as well as a world class clinical scientist, an expert in device design, and an exemplary collaborator. He excelled in his ability to use understandable terms to explain complex data and research.

He died at the age of 60 in 2009 from surgical complications related to the treatment of recently diagnosed adrenal cancer.

Considered to be a pioneer in the field of interventional cardiology, Dr. Donald Baim was our co-founder and a respected senior advisor to us for many years, until his untimely passing in 2009.