Ed Iliff
(1947 - 2017)

Ed Iliff

April 6, 1947

December 11, 2017

Dr. Ed Iliff passed away on December 11th of natural causes in his home in La Jolla. He leaves a legacy of being the critical architect of the Emergency Department of Scripps Memorial Hospital – La Jolla as well as being a highly successful businessman and inventor of FirstOpinion - a product that automates diagnosing.

Ed was one of the early pioneers in emergency medicine before the specialty was really recognized. He joined Scripps in 1976 and was instrumental in creating the new “Department” of Emergency Medicine and then through his leadership over many years built that department. He put his soul into hiring the very best physicians and worked with the nurses and hospital to deliver the highest possible quality of care.

In addition to being the Director of the Emergency Department, he started a highly successful company. In the early 80’s when computers were just beginning, he become convinced that diagnosing was logical and therefore computable. His pursuit over 20 years resulted in personally creating over 50 patents and the development of a prototype program that returned diagnoses when fed symptoms. Hoping to leverage this product into a universally accessible product, he sold his prototype and patents to a public company. When the buyer failed to execute, he attempted to buy his product back so that it could be freely available to everyone.

Despite his stage-worthy sense of humor, he always preferred to remain in the background deflecting credit for his work to others. Even at the elaborate parties he would host for the department, he would often leave early to avoid the limelight. Though he remained single, preferring to dedicate his life to his profession, he leaves behind a family of emergency physicians, nurses and staff who look up to him as a Father. He will be missed.

Though his family has elected to have a small private service, all are encouraged to leave their thoughts and comments in the guest book or light a candle in his memory.

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Guest Book (7 entries)
Psalms 37:29 states that "The righteous will possess the earth, And they will live forever on it." To bring this about, Jehovah promised the resurrection, found in Revelation 21:4 "And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
May God's loving kindness comfort you and help you through this very sad time (Psalms 29:11)
Rod Moreno
January 25th, 2018
Dear Eddie, I have been filled with many thoughts and emotions since learning of your passing. Despite all my sadness, I keep finding myself smiling and even chuckling when I think of certain moments we shared while working together in the ER. You could always make the most mundane shifts come to life with not only your great intelligence, but with your unique and extraordinary wit. When we were faced with difficult medical situations, you taught me so much as you never failed to give me a quiz about it and ask for my input. You made me think! You were so willing to share your knowledge. I feel fortunate, too, that you never forgot me. Even though I had been out of the ER setting for years, you always found me and included me in your many dinners and parties. Seeing you again at each of these was always "old home week". It seemed as if our friendship and all the laughter would instantly return. You also had a great knack of bringing together so many people that made the ER such a special place. Your parties made so many of us happy and thankful for the times we shared. So, Eddie, thank you for that being that special person. Thinking of you will always make me smile.
Nancy Mitchell (Co Worker and Friend)
January 17th, 2018
My sincere condolences are extended to the Iliff family for the loss of your dear loved one. Because God truly loves His people and hates seeing us suffer, He offers comfort and gives us a real hope to live for through His Word, the Bible. At Isaiah 26:19, God promises that our loved ones who have passed away will soon be restored to life right here on the earth. How we look forward to being reunited with them when this loving promise is fulfilled! In the meantime, may your fond memories of Dr. Illiff bring you a measure of solace at this difficult time.
Someone who cares
January 14th, 2018
Dear Ed,
Never a day went by when hearing your name didn't put a smile on my face. I will always remember you & Jess perfectly harmonizing in song as you stitched up your tiniest patient. Your compassion only exceeds your heartfelt generosity. It has been my honor to know and work with you. Till we meet again.
Karen Harenski RN (Co-worker)
January 12th, 2018
Ed, you are missed. We met in 2002, when I was a new-grad out of residency and you took a chance on me when most would not. You were always so generous and kind with me, and took to calling me "son", which I always enjoyed. We also worked on your First Opinion together, which allowed me a closeness to you that was endearing. Your passion to advancing medical technology was infectious. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to thrive, and helping to transform my life.
Sean Deitch (Friend)
January 10th, 2018
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"A friend, a colleague, caring, generous, fair, brilliant, humorous and witty. I so appreciate and miss you. You had a great impact on me, my family, my colleagues and your patients. My condolences to your family and friends."
Monte Mellon
January 25th, 2018
"Ed, I'll miss the talks, listening to each other, and those Gin and Tonics. We are better for having known you. Marty"
martin griglak
January 10th, 2018
"rest in peace Ed ! We all will be missing you Ed. Your kindness .you never forgotten Love you Ed Iliff."
January 9th, 2018
"Dear Cindy and Paul- Heartfelt condolences on the loss of Ed. As a member of his “work family” I join you in missing him and remembering the wonderful man he was. Sincerely, Linda Good"
Linda Good
January 8th, 2018
"Rest in Peace my good friend. Thanks for all you've done for me. Your wit, intelligence and kindness will never be forgotten."
Steve Gormican
January 8th, 2018


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