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Nathan Carliner

The Baltimore Sun

Dr. Nathan Carliner, a cardiologist and University of Maryland School of Medicine professor who practiced at the downtown Veterans Affairs Medical Center, died of bone cancer Tuesday at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Cross Keys resident was 66.

Born in Baltimore and raised on South Road in Mount Washington, known as "Pill Hill" for the many medical professionals who lived there, he was the son of Dr. Paul Carliner, who in 1947 co-discovered Dramamine.

"My father died of a heart attack at age 46 in 1956. Nathan decided to devote his life to find the solution to the kinds of problems that led to my father's early death," said his brother Mark Carliner, a film writer and producer in Los Angeles.

Dr. Carliner was a 1958 Gilman School graduate and earned a bachelor of science degree at Johns Hopkins University. He was a 1965 Hopkins Medical School graduate.

He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Case Western Reserve Medical School in Cleveland, and joined the Army Medical Corps. He was medical service chief at the 3rd Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) at Binh Thuy in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War.

"As one of the more experienced physicians in the hospital, he served as a calming influence and a voice of reason in the midst of a conflict that was most difficult and unsettling," said Dr. Robert W. Peters, chief of cardiology at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Baltimore.

Dr. Carliner did additional study in cardiology at Emory University in Atlanta, and with Dr. Leon Goldberg, a pharmacokinetics scholar. He also studied advanced electrocardiography in Tampa, Fla., with another expert, Dr. Henry Marriott.

Dr. Carliner published research papers on clinical pharmacology and later began a biweekly electrocardiography conference at the University of Maryland, which continues.

He had moved back to Baltimore in the 1970s and began affiliations with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he was a full professor, and with the veterans hospital, where he was associate chief of cardiology and director of noninvasive cardiology services.

He continued his interest in clinical research and authored or co-authored numerous scientific publications. He served as a reviewer for scientific journals and was an editorial board member of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"He was a superb clinician and role model. His advice was regularly sought by many of his co-workers and former trainees," Dr. Peters said yesterday.

Colleagues said Dr. Carliner stressed the humanistic aspects of medical practice and served on numerous committees to help mentor medical students and post-graduate trainees.

Friends said Dr. Carliner filled his home with classical music recordings. He had season tickets to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

"He had a wonderful ear for music - he had an ear that could hear things that other people could not," his brother said. "His ear was also a tremendous asset for his diagnostic work. In his medical work, he could hear subtle anomalies which he could then describe and use in his teaching."

Funeral services were held yesterday in Pikesville.

Survivors also include a sister, Esther Carliner Viros of Paris, and four nephews.

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