Laura Mirkinson, MD, MSc, FAAP, pediatric hospitalist and a founder of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Section on Hospital Medicine Executive Committee, died April 29 of ovarian cancer. She was 60.
Dr. Mirkinson received her medical degree from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, Md., before serving her pediatrics residency at Bethesda Naval Hospital and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She served as an active-duty medical officer in the U.S. Naval Medical Corps Reserves before retiring as a captain in 2000. She then worked at Children’s Hospital of Washington and the pediatric hospitalist group at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md.
Dr. Mirkinson played a role in the development of pediatric hospital medicine during and after her military service. In 2007, she was elected chief of pediatrics at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, N.Y. She also served as director of education for the AAP’s Section on Hospital Medicine and was its second chairperson, following the section’s co-founder Jack Percelay, MD, FAAP. Through this work, she helped promote the AAP Section on Hospital Medicine newsletter, as well as the Hospital Pediatrics journal.
Dr. Mirkinson’s colleagues and students remember her as a caring, insightful teacher and mentor who offered wise advice on all matters professional and personal. Her devotion to patient care was evident throughout her career. Even in her administrative roles, she would often practice clinical medicine to help fill scheduling gaps or cover other physicians’ vacations.