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UT-Houston Medicine Magazine

Mentoring matters

Dr. Gilstrap hands over department key to Dr. Ramin

By Darla Brown

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When Susan Ramin, M.D., unpacks her boxes in the chair's office of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, she will be moving into the office of her mentor, Larry Gilstrap, M.D.

After 10 years at the helm, Dr. Gilstrap stepped down from the chair position Sept. 1 to become director of evaluation of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Dallas. Dr. Gilstrap hired Dr. Ramin as director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and director of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program in 1998, but they first became acquainted in the 1980s at UT Southwestern in Dallas.

"She was my resident and fellow when I was on faculty at UT Southwestern, and we were seeing patients at Parkland," Dr. Gilstrap recalls. "I was struck by this bright, energetic resident, who was always very well prepared.

"She always knew everything about her patients."

Dr. Gilstrap says that Dr. Ramin as a young resident knew so much about her patients that he teased her, telling her that physicians had to know their patients birthdays as well – because so much could be charted by a birthday, that it was the most important fact – and was surprised that Dr. Ramin did not know this answer when questioned.

"Well, the next time we rounded, she knew all of her patients' birthdays. I just dismissed her and said, ‘Who cares about birthdays,'" Dr. Gilstrap recalls with a smile. "Well, she wouldn't talk to me for a week!"

After they started talking again, it was Dr. Gilstrap, Dr. Ramin says, who "shed light on my future career path." She switched from endocrinology to a fellowship under Dr. Gilstrap's tutelage.

"I learned from some of the best as far as taking care of patients, writing, and learning to get on national committees to affect change," Dr. Ramin says.

Dr. Ramin says she has been able to do everything she wants to in her chosen career.

"Under Dr. Gilstrap's guidance and mentoring, I've been very successful on committees, research, and running the division. None of us wanted Dr. Gilstrap to leave, but he has a wonderful opportunity to take," she says.

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