Dr. Alex Moir, chief of the department of family and community medicine at UCSF Fresno, died Dec. 19 in a skiing accident while on vacation with his family. He was 53.
His death was announced in a Facebook post by UCSF Fresno Family & Community Medicine. The post says his loss will be deeply felt and his colleagues are heartbroken. He died in Canada, according to the post.
Interim associate dean Dr. Michael Peterson said Dr. Moir spent his entire career, more than 20 years, at UCSF Fresno.
“Alex has been an outstanding physician, teacher, mentor and leader, and he will be greatly missed,” Peterson said.
Alex has been an outstanding physician, teacher, mentor and leader, and he will be greatly missed.
Dr. Michael Peterson, UCSF Fresno interim associate dean
Dr. Moir received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and completed his medical degree at the University of Miami, according to his biography on the UCSF Fresno website. He did his residency in family and community medicine in Fresno at the university and joined the faculty after graduation.
Dr. Moir advocated for rural and small-community family medicine, as well as health care for Latinos and other underserved communities. He also taught and practiced rural medicine in Selma at the Adventist Medical Center.
He was recognized in 2012 by the Adventist Health Central Valley Network with a Physician of the Year Mission Award for his commitment to providing physical, mental and spiritual care to his patients.
In a statement when he received the award, Dr. Moir said he never rushed exams and took time to get to know patients.
“Whole-person care is important to better establish a relationship with patients,” he said. “Patients develop a level of trust, which helps me to work with them to treat the real issue instead of just the symptoms.”
He was a member of the American Academy of Family Medicine, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, the American Medical Association, the California Medical Association and the Fresno Madera Medical Society.
He was also a member of the San Joaquin River Parkway Conservation Trust, a nonprofit focused on developing parks and protecting wetlands.
Dr. Ruth Avila, a family physician at Fresno State, said she knew Dr. Moir while she was an intern at Valley Medical Center and he was in his third year of residency.
“There’s a lot of unique, quirky people you train with, and some of them can be a little cutthroat,” she said, “but he was just so humble and so easygoing.”
Dr. John Zweifler, chief medical officer of Adventist Health, knew Dr. Moir for more than 25 years and remembers him best for his commitment to social justice and his caring for others. As a mentor, faculty member, doctor and friend, Dr. Moir was compassionate to all who knew him and a very effective physician, Zweifler said.
The incredible outpouring of emotion from the community in response to news of his death shows that Dr. Moir left an indelible impression on everyone, Zweifler said.
“It’s a huge loss,” he said. “The only positive is to emulate how he was with others so that the world can be a better place.”