Samuel J. Abrams, 78

[ Age 78 ] Surgeon and medical historian

September 25, 2007

Dr. Samuel J. Abrams, a retired surgeon and medical historian, died of a heart attack Sept. 16 at Sinai Hospital. The Pikesville resident was 78.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Hilton Street, he was a 1946 City College graduate who earned a biology and chemistry degree at the Johns Hopkins University. He was a 1954 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Dr. Abrams joined the staff of Sinai Hospital and remained there until retiring about 10 years ago. A general and pediatric surgeon, he was an interim chief of surgery at Sinai and had also been chief of surgery at what was then Baltimore County General Hospital.

Interested in the history of medicine, Dr. Abrams was the co-curator of a Sinai Hospital historical-medical museum. He also collected antique medical instruments, many of which are on display. He also worked on a historical display of the automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator, developed at Sinai in the 1980s.

"He was one of the most conscientious professionals I've worked with," said Paul Umansky, a friend who is the retired manager of public relations at Sinai. "He was a caring individual for his patients, and they responded to him in kind."

Dr. Abrams was active in the Medical Alumni Association of the University of Maryland and took an interest in the restoration of Davidge Hall.

Services were held Thursday in Pikesville.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, the former Elaine Kipnis; two sons, Steven Abrams of Baltimore and Dr. Morton Jack Abrams of Capetown, South Africa; a sister, Rosalie Nachlas of Boca Raton, Fla.; and three grandchildren.

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