Dr. David C. Moses, whose career at Sinai Hospital spanned three decades and where he had been head of its division of nuclear medicine and chief of the department of radiology, died April 5 in his sleep at his Pikesville home. He was 79.
“Dave was one of the nicest and most caring individuals you’d ever want to meet,” said Dr. Jay I. Levinson, a psychologist and a tennis partner of 40 years. “He was brilliant but a modest, low-key guy who never bragged or tooted his own horn. He was very much a Renaissance man and a truly nice guy.”
The Towson resident added: “He was service-oriented and had a heart of gold. We have a Yiddish word — mensch — and Dave was a real mensch.”
Dr. Douglas Van Nostrand, who is director of nuclear medicine research at Washington Hospital Center in Washington and a professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical School, was a former colleague of Dr. Moses'.
“He worked with us at Sinai, MedStar Good Samaritan and MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center from 1988 to 1999,” said Dr. Van Nostrand, a Pasadena resident. “Dave was a unique individual and an outstanding nuclear medicine physician. He was a very skillful administrator, was extremely smart, and one of the best docs we had at Good Samaritan and Franklin Square.”
David C. Moses, he never used his middle name, his wife said, was the son of Russell Moses, owner of Cugley’s, a pet store chain, and his wife, Pearl Moses, and was born and raised in Philadelphia.
After graduating in 1958 from Central High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1962 from the University of Chicago. He received his medical degree in 1966 from Temple University Medical School, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society. In 1968, he completed a residency in internal medicine at Temple, which was followed by a fellowship in nuclear medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
“He was a pioneer in nuclear medicine, which in those days was still quite rudimentary,” said Dr. John T. Salkeld, a Colesville resident, who is director of nuclear medicine at Mercy Medical Center. “He came out of the Hopkins program, which was the biggest and most influential program in the country.”
After working for two years as chief of the nuclear medicine unit at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he was also an assistant professor of internal medicine, he returned to Baltimore to serve as head of the division of nuclear medicine at Sinai Hospital. a position he held until 1991.
Dr. Moses, who also was chief of the radiology department at Sinai from 1986 to 1991, was an assistant professor of radiology at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School from 1980 to 1995.
“I worked with him starting in 1990 when he was helping us at Franklin Square Medical Center. Dr. Moses has an excellent reputation and was very professional and very accessible,” said Dr. Gabriel Soudry, a Reisterstown resident, who is director of nuclear medicine for Good Samaritan, Franklin Square, MedStar Union Memorial and MedStar Harbor Hospital.
“He was always eager to help us out at Franklin Square,” he said. “He had a broad smile and was very happy in general. Dave was a very classy individual who didn’t get involved in gossip and had a very engaging personality and a good sense of humor."
His wife of 55 years, the former Yael Margalit, who taught Hebrew language and literature at The George Washington University before retiring, described him as having a “thousand-watt smile.”
“He was absolutely the most positive person I’ve ever known,” Dr. Van Nostrand said. “He was always smiling and always had something good to say. His smile was infectious and welcoming. He would come and met you, and I like that spirit.”
“He had a great reputation and was very well-known in the nuclear medicine community. He covered for me at Mercy for 25 years, even though he wasn’t a full-time employee,” Dr. Salkeld said. “He liked teaching and interacting with the staff. He enjoyed working and looked forward to it. He was a very solid physician, enjoyed being a doctor, and never lost his love for his cases, staff or patients.”
He added: “While he was no longer working a 40-hour week, but if I asked him to do it for me, he would have. He worked to the end of his life.”
Dr, Moses was not averse to taking calls after hours, Dr. Van Nostrand said.
“Dave made himself available to take night calls and read studies,” Dr. Soudry said. “I have great respect for his wife, but she didn’t like being awakened at night by the sound of a ringing phone. We got him to wear a pager in his pajamas, so when he felt it vibrate, he’d get out of bed and not disturb his wife.”
Dr. Moses had gone to work at Mercy Medical Center two days before his death to read heart scans.
He made it clear that the word “retirement” was not in his vocabulary, family members said.
During his more than 30-year tenure at Sinai, Dr. Moses received the Golden Apple Award for outstanding teaching by the Sinai Hospital House Staff Association two years in a row.
From 1980 to 1988, he was vice president or president for the Midwestern Chapter of the Society for Nuclear Medicine and later for the Maryland Society for Nuclear Medicine.
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Dr, Moses was such an inspiration that his “two children pursued medical careers,” his wife said.
In addition to his medical career, in the early 1980s he became a licensed certified public accountant and a certified financial planner. “He loved to learn and he really enjoyed numbers because they are orderly,” Mrs. Moses said.
In addition to playing tennis and racquetball, Dr. Moses walked 4 miles a day. He enjoyed photography in his earlier years and was an avid reader in both English and Hebrew. He also liked Israeli folk dancing.
Dr. Moses was a member of Beth Tfiloh Congregation.
Graveside services were held April 7 at Haym Salomon Memorial Park in Frazer, Pennsylvania.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Dr. Ron Moses of Houston; a daughter, Dr. Eydie Moses-Kolko of Pittsburgh; a brother, Robert Moses of Dallas; a sister, Janet Moses of Ventnor, New Jersey; and five grandchildren.