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Alex M. Bagby

Helen Ramey

2021 Distinguished Alumni

B.S. General Science '56



Dr. Helen Ramey grew up in Snyder, Okla., in a Lebanese American family. Snyder High School denied her the title of valedictorian because of her heritage despite having the best grades in the school. The experience left her indignant, but she went on to major in bacteriology at OSU.

Dr. Wood, head of the chemistry department, encouraged her to apply for medical school though it was uncommon for women to attend. Her advisor, Dr. White, also encouraged her, provided the application and helped her complete it. During her interview, the all-male panel asked her, “What are the limitations of women in medicine?” She said, “I don’t see any.” She graduated from OU medical school in 1960. 

Dr. Ramey interned at Harbor General Hospital UCLA and did her residency at Baylor University Medical Center. During her rotation through Children’s Medical Center, she was offered a pediatric radiology fellowship. After the fellowship, she joined the teaching staff at CMC. She then began a 30-year career at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth as a radiologist for the 40-bed neonatal unit. While at JPSH, she testified as an expert witness in several child abuse cases and more recently contributed to Boston-based research on “shaken baby syndrome.”

In the late '70s, when ultrasound technology was new, she spent one week at the University of California Irvine learning ultrasound technique, which she then taught to JPSH staff. Ramey joined Medical and Surgical Clinic of Irving part-time to introduce ultrasound to the clinic.

She accomplished all of this while raising three children.

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