In Honor of Dr. Elijah Saunders

Health & Wellness, Relationships

In celebration of the Juneteenth holiday, I would like to pay homage to Dr. Elijah Saunders, a world renowned cardiologist who was one of my heroes and a hero to countless medical students, physicians and patients alike. Dr. Saunders was the first BIPOC cardiologist in the state of Maryland who practiced for nearly 50 years until his passing in 2015 at the age of 80. He was the consummate physician who gave patients his all, all of the time. His area of expertise was hypertension for which he was not only a stalwart who took care of thousands in the black community, but he was also a Doctor’s Doctor because we constantly sought his advise and looked up to him as a leader in the medical field.

I met Dr. Saunders 30 years ago where he was a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and head of the Hypertension Division. Soon after, his pioneering work found that black patients responded better to certain blood pressure medications, helping to pave the way for identifying more effective blood pressure treatments in underserved and marginalized communities throughout the world.

He was a brilliant physician and had the innate ability to inspire curiosity in others, regardless of their background. He always made himself accessible — from patients to junior residents to senior staff members.

Medicine today as we know it was shaped by his enormous contributions.

Michael Miller, MD is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

One thought on “In Honor of Dr. Elijah Saunders

  1. I remember Dr. Saunders well. He was kind, inclusive, generous, curious. We worked together on a research trial and he was a joy to work with.

    Quite a giant!

    Liked by 1 person

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