Oscar M. (Mack) Reinmuth, MD, died peacefully after a long illness on September 23, 2011, in Tucson Arizona, where he had lived since his retirement in 1994 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr Reinmuth served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at Pittsburgh from 1977 until 1992. He was 83 years old.
Dr Reinmuth was born in Lincoln Nebraska, and grew up in Austin, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas and subsequently obtained his MD degree at Duke University. He first completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Yale, and then a residency in Neurology at Harvard University, where Derek Denny-Brown at Boston City Hospital was his most influential mentor. After completing his residency there, he studied for a year at Queen Square Hospital, London. His first academic position was at the University of Miami, where he became Professor of Neurology before moving on to Pittsburgh.
Dr Reinmuth had a distinguished career in neurology. He was a pioneer in the study of cerebral blood flow and was well-known for his clinical and research contributions concerning cerebrovascular disease. He edited the journal Stroke from 1987 to 1991, one of his proudest accomplishments. He also served in various leadership positions in the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Stroke Council. Although he was an influential contributor to the science of neurology, his deep personal passions were his patients and the training of the next generation of neurologist residents and junior staff members.
Dr Steven Small, Chair of the Department of Neurology at University of California Irvine, remembers:
“Mack did Morning Report for 1 hour every single day and discussed every single inpatient and consultation in the hospital. I remember once going to the bedside in the middle of one of these sessions, during which Mack showed all of us a cholesterol embolism in a retinal artery. Just hearing the case, he suspected he'd be able to show this to us. He was very hands-on. I still remember how to do lumbar punctures via a lateral approach the way Mack taught us. Mack's charismatic bedside manner (and his trademark smile) resulted in immediate rapport with patients; their trust in him would provide previously unacknowledged information that often sealed the diagnosis.”
Widely respected for the breadth and depth of his understanding of neurology and his general medical wisdom, he was honored by both colleagues and patients for his compassion and caring. He had many friends in the medical community, spanning several generations. Notable among them were his contemporaries, such as Betty Banker, Louis Caplan, Noble J. David, Joseph Foley, Norman Geschwind, Robert Joynt, John Moossy, and Maurice Victor, as well as a younger generation, including Francois Boller, Steven DeKosky, Benjamin Eidelman, Conrado Estol, Katherine Holland, Percy Karenja, Oscar Lopez, Steven Small, and many more.
Dr Reinmuth is survived by his 3 beloved children, Diane Waldman of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; David Reinmuth of Dallas, Texas and Douglas Reinmuth of Miami, Florida; 6 grandchildren, Alan, Alese, and Austin Reinmuth; and Kelly, Katharine, and Andrew Waldman; and 1 great-granddaughter, Presley Rae.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made in his memory to the American Stroke Association, Dallas, Texas, or to the O. M. Reinmuth Residents' Graduation Fund, Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh, Attention: Jim Olsen, 3600 Forbes Avenue, Suite 8084, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213.
- Received October 17, 2011.
- Accepted October 20, 2011.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.