In Memoriam: Alan T. Hirsch, MD, FACC

July 17, 1954 to April 14, 2017

On behalf of the ACC and the Peripheral Vascular Disease Section, we are deeply saddened to announce the sudden and unexpected passing of our dear colleague, Dr. Alan T. Hirsch. His death at 62 years old represents both the loss of one of the pillars of the field of vascular medicine and the abrupt end of a career that in many ways had yet to reach its peak.

A graduate of the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, Dr. Hirsch completed his training in internal medicine at the University of Chicago Hospitals and University of California San Francisco. His lifelong career in cardiovascular medicine began at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He then pursued additional training in vascular medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He quickly reached prominence in vascular medicine, which was, at that time, emerging as a distinct field.

A professor of medicine, epidemiology and community health in the cardiovascular division and Lillehei Heart Institute, Dr. Hirsch was a highly-regarded and accomplished clinician investigator focused on improving outcomes for patients suffering from a variety of vascular diseases. Perhaps best known for his tireless passion and determination, Dr. Hirsch was a master clinician to his patients, committed advocate to the vascular medicine community, and beloved mentor to countless junior colleagues, trainees, and students.

For those who had a chance to work closely with Dr. Hirsch, his passing leaves us with the uncomfortable realization that he was irreplaceable. The void that we must now fill in his absence seems daunting. However, this is exactly the sort of challenge on which he thrived. As we remember Dr. Hirsch and carry on his legacy, we will continue to be inspired by the example that he set for us all as clinicians, investigators, advocates, and educators.

This article was authored by Gregory Piazza, MD, MS, FACC, chair of the PVD Section, and Herbert D. Aronow, MD, MPH, FACC, immediate-past chair of the PVD Section.

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