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Dr. Allen L. Goldfarb, cardiologist, medical pioneer

Dr. Allen L. Goldfarb, cardiologist, medical pioneer

March 28, 1926 – Aug. 13, 2014

Dr. Allen L. Goldfarb, a leading cardiologist who served as medical director of the coronary care unit at the old Millard Fillmore Hospital, died Aug. 13 in his summer home at Waverly Beach, Ont. He was 88.

The son of a doctor, Dr. Goldfarb was born and raised in Buffalo. When he was 12 years old, the unexpected death of his father, Samuel Goldfarb, inspired him to put his patients’ well-being above all other considerations.

He enlisted in the Army during World War II when he was 17 and served in the Pacific Theater. He married JoAnne Setel in 1949, and they recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

A 1951 graduate of the University of Buffalo School of Medicine, Dr. Goldfarb started his career as a specialist in internal medicine and ran a weekly clinical teaching conference at Millard Fillmore Hospital from 1957 to 1971.

He later subspecialized in cardiology and served as medical director of the hospital’s coronary care unit from 1971 to 1994, when he became medical director of the non-invasive cardiology laboratories.

As an internist, he was known for his ability to diagnose difficult cases. Additionally as both an internist and cardiologist, Dr. Goldfarb, who helped train generations of physicians in Buffalo, was known for his dedication to teaching.

In 1976, he was awarded the J. Frederick Painton Award for excellence in teaching at Millard Fillmore. As a cardiologist, Dr. Goldfarb was at the cutting edge of bringing emerging technologies and tests to Buffalo. In 1975, he and Dr. Lawrence Golden introduced echocardiography and Holter testing at Millard Fillmore; in 1980, Dr. Goldfarb began using intravenous thrombolysis for acute myocardial infarction at Millard Fillmore; and in 1988, he introduced stress and dobutamine echocardiography.

He also served as principal investigator on numerous cardiac research projects and was co-author of several medical articles on cardiac treatment and care. For more than 20 years, beginning in 1980, he served as the head of the human research committee at Millard Fillmore.

Dr. Goldfarb continued to practice medicine until he was almost 80. In his later years, when he was slowed by Parkinson’s disease, he no longer did patient consults.

Besides his wife, Dr. Goldfarb is survived by two daughters, Sandra Lapham and Donna Duggan; a son, Carl; and five grandchildren.

Services were private.

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