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Neil Buchbinder, MD: 1942-2019


Neil Buchbinder, MD

It is with regret that we inform you that Neil Buchbinder, MD, passed away on Sept. 22.

Buchbinder was one of our legendary physicians from the era in which Cedars of Lebanon Cardiology became the renowned Cedars-Sinai Division of Cardiology. After completing his medical and internal medicine training at the University of Miami, Buchbinder began his academic career as a fellow in Cardiac Pathology with the world's leading cardiac pathologist William Roberts, MD, at the National Institutes of Health. He then became a cardiology fellow at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, and, in 1974, was appointed associate director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory by HJC Swan, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Cardiology. During this era, the cardiology division was emerging as a national leader.

In 1977, Swiss cardiologist Andreas Gruentzig, MD, electrified the cardiology world by inventing coronary balloon angioplasty. Buchbinder traveled to Switzerland, mastered the procedure and returned to perform the first coronary balloon angioplasty in Los Angeles.  In the years that followed, as Cedars-Sinai moved to the nation's forefront in development of new cardiac devices and therapy, Buchbinder led the use of cutting-edge breakthroughs in the Cedars-Sinai catheterization laboratory. With William Ganz, Buchbinder performed the nation's first successful coronary thrombolysis on his patient with acute myocardial infarction. With Peter Barath, MD, Buchbinder was the first to deploy the highly successful cutting balloon catheter developed at Cedars-Sinai.

For decades, Buchbinder was the medical center's most sought-after referral cardiologist for cardiac catheterization, known for his dedication to the highest principles of his profession and to the health and wellbeing of his patients. He was a doctor's doctor, who so many of us depended on for our care and personal advice and the care of our loved ones. He is survived by his wife Sue, son Marc, and grandchildren Brooke, 11, and Nathaniel, 2.

- Daniel Berman, MD
- Jim Forrester, MD
- John Friedman, MD