BMC Trauma Chief Drowns in Boating Accident | BU Today

BMC Trauma Chief Drowns in Boating Accident | BU Today
Erwin F. Hirsch, a much-respected and well-loved physician who served as chief of trauma surgery at the Boston Medical Center for 25 years, died yesterday afternoon after his dinghy capsized in the harbor off Rockport, Maine. The 72-year-old surgeon was legendary for his efforts to provide the highest quality care to all patients, regardless of their finances or personal histories, and for his seemingly inexhaustible energy and good will.

I didn’t know him, but it sounds like I would have enjoyed working with him.


  1. Anne Armitage says:

    I’m from Dr. Hirsch’s area–he lived not far from where I live. For you old timers, his hospital was the old Boston City Hospital. Dr. Hirsch was a legend in Boston, the best of the best. His personal statements about patients–rich, poor, post-trauma–are worth memorizing. Check out the initial reactions in The Boston Globe to the announcement of his death–the reactions from his colleagues and students are straight from the gut, not just polite expressions of condolence. He was the heart and soul of the BMC ED. His death is a terrible loss to the Boston medical community, to emergency medicine, to teaching, and to patients. The sorrow here for his wife and family is huge. You’re right–you would have liked working with him. He was a great physician and a great man.

  2. Anne Armitage says:

    Just an addendum, from the Boston Globe:

    “Hirsch, who spent his childhood in Germany and Argentina, earned his medical degree in Argentina and then moved to Washington, D.C., to further his training. During the Vietnam War, he was one of the top surgeons at a Navy hospital in Da Nang.”

    And from a friend, a physical therapist who worked with his wife and knew Dr. Hirsch: he extended his Viet Nam tour by at least six months to complete work he’d started; later published on some of this work.

    Family and colleagues holding on, but it’s a tough, tough time. Keep the family and staff in your thoughts and prayers.

  3. Dr. Hirsch was a true lengend. I was lucky enough to have been one of his medical students a long time ago.

    I think you would have liked working with him. He was one of those people who made medicine (and surgery) fun, exciting and really cool.


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