Louis Binder: 1954-2014

The emergency medicine community recently lost a great physician, scientist and educator who made a lasting impact on our specialty. Louis S. Binder passed away on January 16, 3 months short of his 60th birthday.

Dr. Binder graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1980. He stayed on in Minneapolis to do a transitional internship at Hennepin County, followed by Emergency Medicine at UMKC Truman Medical Center. Following residency, Lou only spent about a year in community practice before embarking on his long, fruitful academic EM career.

He joined the ED faculty of Texas Tech UHSC-El Paso, TX in 1984 as assistant professor, with promotion to associate professor with tenure in 1991, and then full professor with tenure in 1995. From 1988 to 1995 Lou was also Assistant Dean for Medical Education at Texas Tech. He moved to Chicago in 1995 as Associate Dean for Academic Student Affairs and tenured professor of Emergency Medicine at University of Illinois, Chicago College of Medicine.            

In 1999, Lou moved to Cleveland and MetroHealth Medical Center as Professor of Emergency Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Associate EM Residency Program Director at the Metro program. Dr. Binder has remained based in Cleveland ever since then, with an interlude as Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs at TCMC, as well as Vice Chair for Academic Affairs at University of Nevada School of Medicine.

After returning from Las Vegas Lou spent time back at Metro, followed by time with us as Professor of Emergency Medicine at CWRU/ UH Case Medical Center. Due to health reasons, he retired from practice last spring.

Lou received many accolades during his academic career which also included substantial service nationally as an editorial board member of several journals, and member of the SAEM board, ABEM and the Emergency Medicine RRC.

But in the end, more important than where he worked and what positions he held was how he led. Lou was a wonderful mentor for our faculty, residents and medical students. He was always very kind, patient and thoughtful. I can never remember seeing Lou get upset or angry at anyone. We greatly benefited from his experience and only wish that his time with us lasted longer.

Dr. Binder was the ultimate physician educator. He received numerous education awards here at Case, including the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine and the Kaiser Permanente Teaching Awards. He was an author or coauthor of over 55 peer reviewed articles along with more than 75 other publications and book chapters.

Without a doubt, the specialty of Emergency Medicine is stronger due to the career-long efforts of Louis S. Binder, MD. Many of our colleagues and current EM educators’ and practitioners’ lives were touched by Lou’s publications, leadership in SAEM, ABEM and the RRC, and direct teaching in the classroom and in patient care.

Lou is survived by his wife Nancy. He will not be soon forgotten!


Ed Michelson, MD

Associate Professor and Chair

Department of Emergency Medicine

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

University Hospitals Case Medical Center


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