Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Remembering Ursula Guidry, M.D.

Ursula Guidry, a college classmate, died recently. I remember her fondly, although I lost track of her long ago. She was a cardiologist in the Bay Area. She featured in a recent roundup of The East Bay's Top Doctors. It's a poignant piece to read now, but there's inspiration to be found there as well.

Ursula Guidry, M.D.

Ursula Guidry has a stunning pedigree that would allow her to be any kind of a doctor she wanted. A native of Texas, Guidry studied at Harvard University as an undergraduate before heading to the University of California, San Francisco for medical school before returning to Cambridge for her residency and fellowship in cardiology at the Harvard hospitals.

But she nixed the idea of cardiac surgery for one important reason.

“I knew back then that it was important for me to be able to talk to patients—when they are awake!”

Since 1999, when she returned to the Bay Area, Guidry has been a staff cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente focusing on preventive medicine, especially for patients who have already suffered a heart attack.

While Guidry, the mother of two small children, has long been known as a warm and fuzzy physician, her patients’ fear and pain have resonated deeply since she was treated for breast cancer.

“I feel like I am more in tune,” Guidry says. “Now before I walk into a patient’s room, I take a deep breath, center myself and listen from my gut. The exam room is a sacred place, and patients are so vulnerable. I just want to make sure I honor that.”


At July 31, 2007 at 2:03 AM , Blogger Charles said...

I knew Ursula in High School. We were both in the Vanguard Program at Jesse H. Jones High School. She was chosen to be in La Dix (The Ten) in her graduating class (1984). She was always intelligent and kind. I am deeply saddened by her passing.

At April 15, 2008 at 2:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked with her from 2001 -2004, and she was kind, smart and very free with praise and "great job" when I did her cardi reports. I was shocked and saddened to hear of her passing, and she is still missed. I don't want to take her name off of my email list.

At June 27, 2008 at 6:23 AM , Anonymous Vincent said...

I was getting ready to visit my wife, who is in the hospital, when I changed television stations and caught a glimpse of a picture and heard the name 'Ursula Guidry'. I was in shock because I'd known Ursula since we attended W.P. Hobby Elementary School in Houston, TX. Even as a child, I could tell she was special. She was kind and smart. She was among a group of peers driven to excel. Although I had not seen her since elementary school, I've often thought about her throughout the years because I just knew she would doing something great and making a difference. I am saddened to hear of her passing.

At July 17, 2009 at 6:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew Ursula, when we were volunteers with Amigos de las Americas, (summer of 1984 in Ecuador)she was coupled with me the whole summer. She was looking forward to going to Harvard and pursuing her degree. I kept in contact with her for a short time, and had always wished that I could contact her. I was led to this site because I was searching for her hoping to add her on my facebook. Her death is a tragedy for this world. I am sure she was an excellent physician. God Bless her and her family.

At October 17, 2009 at 8:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1988, I spent the summer in a tent in rural Veracruz, Mexico with Ursula and my buddy, Maria. Maria and I just got back in touch with each other after all these years and we were looking for Ursula online. What sad news to find! She was funny and warm and brilliant. We were all goofy college kids and she was the only one who realized one guy had gone missing. It turned out he was in his tent, passed out with a high fever. He said she saved his life, and he's "grown up" become an important biologist/conservationist on the Channel Islands. I regret that I didn't know her in the intervening years. Our best to her loving family.



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