Faculty Educator of the Month: April 2009

Dr. Pedro T. Ramirez

Pedro T. Ramirez, M.D., director of Minimally Invasive Surgical Research and Education and associate professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology, has been named the April 2009 Faculty Educator of the Month.

As director of Minimally Invasive Surgical Research and Education, Dr. Ramirez oversees training of surgeons in the use of techniques such as laparoscopy and the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. These techniques not only enhance surgeons’ skills but also improve patients’ quality of life by decreasing pain and blood loss, reducing hospital stays and facilitating quicker returns to normal diets and activities when compared with conventional open surgical techniques.

Dr. Ramirez has had a great deal of hands-on experience with such techniques. Specifically, he is known for his use of total laparoscopic radical hysterectomy and laparoscopic extraperitoneal lymph node dissection in patients with early and locally advanced cervical cancer, respectively. Furthermore, he has a great deal of experience in performing robotic radical hysterectomies, radical trachelectomies, radical parametrectomies and staging procedures. He is also recognized as one of the leading surgeons in this country in the field of fertility preservation in young women with early cervical cancer.

In addition to his training of surgeons described above, Dr. Ramirez has been a frequent didactic instructor at MD Anderson. For example, he has been a lecturer and/or instructor at the MINTOS Conference (2006-2008) and a lecturer for the Comprehensive Board Review in Hematology and Medical Oncology (2007 and 2008), a lecturer at the Melanoma Gynecologic Manifestations and Uterine Cancer Staging meetings (2002) and an instructor at the Ovarian Cancer Surgical Management meeting (2001).

Dr. Ramirez is also committed to the education of physicians throughout the world. For example, he frequently speaks at international surgical conferences. In addition, Dr Ramirez serves as a mentor and host to numerable international surgeons who seek to expand their expertise and skills.

Outside the clinic and classroom, Dr. Ramirez has participated in the development of MD Anderson trainees by supervising 13 Felix Rutledge Society Fellows since 2001. He also served on the Clinical Research Committee from 2004 to 2006.

In 2008, Dr. Ramirez received the Faculty Teaching Award from his fellows-in-training for his dedication and commitment to their education. Also, in 1998, Dr. Ramirez received the Solan Chao, M.D., Medical Student Teaching Award. He has also been honored with the American Association of Cancer Research Minority Scholar award (1999) and Howard C. Taylor, Jr., Award (1998). Furthermore, Dr. Ramirez was an American College of Obstetrics Gynecology Resident Reporter in 1997.

Dr. Ramirez received his M.D. degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in Bronx, NY, in 1994. He then completed a residency in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City in 1998. That same year he came to MD Anderson, where he completed a clinical fellowship in gynecologic oncology in 2001.

After his fellowship, Dr. Ramirez was named an assistant professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology in 2001. He was promoted to his current position of associate professor and was named director of Minimally Invasive Surgical Research and Education in 2005.

During his time at MD Anderson, Dr. Ramirez has been the principal investigator for several grant-funded research projects. In addition to his clinical and educational responsibilities, Dr. Ramirez is a member of the Operating Room Committee and Credentials Committee of the Medical Staff. He is also the chair of the Gynecologic Oncology Committee for the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. Recently, Dr. Ramirez was also named president of the Houston Gynecologic and Obstetrical Society.

Dr. Ramirez currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology and on the editorial advisory board for the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. Furthermore, he is currently a reviewer for 10 other scientific journals. Over his professional career, Dr. Ramirez has authored more than 70 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and 13 book chapters.