Gary A. Ratkin, MD ’67, HS ’72
Gary A. Ratkin, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at Washington University, is a distinguished oncologist, medical ethicist, and palliative physician.
Ratkin has had a distinguished career in the Department of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Missouri Baptist Medical Center. He has been recognized for his service and leadership in oncology as chair and co-chair of the BJH Cancer Committees for more than 20 years and as chair of the Clinical Practice Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He has received awards for his teaching of clinical medicine, hematology and medical oncology.
His ideas regarding living longer and better through palliative care have served as the basis for teaching the care of patients with serious chronic illnesses, especially cancer and hematologic disorders. He has shown a continued passion for seeking new knowledge and ways to educate fellow health care providers to improve the quality of life of patients and their families at the end of life.
Ratkin began his involvement with palliative care and hospice care at Barnes and Jewish Hospitals. After moving to Missouri Baptist, he served as medical director of the Cancer Center and founded the MBMC Palliative Care Service, which he leads now as a volunteer. More recently he has initiated the Missouri Baptist Medicine, Religion and Ethics Forum, a monthly discussion for clinicians and the lay community.
Ratkin received his medical degree at Washington University in 1967. He completed his first two years of residency in internal medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and returned to St. Louis for another year of residency at Jewish (now Barnes- Jewish) Hospital. He did his fellowship in hematology-oncology (1970-72) at Washington University as well.
Ratkin has been involved in clinical research in medical oncology throughout his career and has participated in National Cancer Institute clinical trial groups at Washington University and Missouri Baptist Medical Center’s Heartland Cancer Community Oncology Research program. In 2008, he was honored as an alumni member of Alpha Omega Alpha, Washington University.
Since his retirement from his hematologyoncology practice, he has been involved in leadership positions in the Cancer Support Community of St. Louis and as a provider and medical director at Casa de Salud, a low-cost clinic for immigrants. Other volunteer activities include the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry, United Way of Greater St. Louis, and as a tutor at the International Institute of St. Louis.
The Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association is pleased to present its Alumni Achievement Award to Dr. Ratkin.