It is with deep sadness that I advise you of the passing of Max Harry Weil, MD, PhD, ScD (Hon), FCCM, this past weekend in Palm Springs, California. Dr. Weil was a founder of the field of critical care medicine, proposing the term critical care, and leading the Society of Critical Care Medicine as its first president from 1970 to 1972. A true visionary, he co-founded the Weil Institute of Critical Care Medicine, where he was active until his death.
Dr. Weil received his medical degree from the State University of New York and completed training in cardiology and cardiovascular physiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His research focused on the mechanism of shock, the hemodynamic effects of endotoxin, and the relationship of endotoxic shock with other types of shock. His contributions are too numerous to name, so I will mention but a few of them.
He established the first “shock ward” to provide continuous monitoring of seriously ill cardiology and postsurgical patients. He also developed a cardiac catheterization laboratory and monitoring facility for surgical patients, as well as a clinical physiology unit for hemodynamic and metabolic patient studies. Dr. Weil’s research further advanced the care of critically ill patients with the introduction of computer techniques for patient monitoring. His inquisitive mind never stopped wondering how he could make the lives of his patients better.
Dr. Weil was an innovator and a great leader in medicine. His dream of saving lives advanced the field of critical care. Dr. Weil was one of the critical care titans, and he will be deeply missed.
Pamela A. Lipsett, MD, MHPE, FCCM