Robert Griffen Brame, MD

Robert Griffen Brame, MD

Robert Griffen Brame, MD (June 14, 2014)

Robert Griffen Brame was born on New Year's Eve 1929 in Wendell, North Carolina. His life and career was all things North Carolina. The obstetrician and gynecologists and women of eastern North Carolina are especially indebted to his commitment to equitable, quality clinical care and the education of the physicians who have stayed in North Carolina to care for the rich and poor women of our region. His education and training was dominated by the rich heritage of University of North Carolina. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his medical degree from University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill. After an internship at University of Colorado Medical School, he finished his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill. After two years of post-graduate clinical and research training he embarked on a distinguished career at academic institutions in North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states.

From 1967-1977, Dr. Brame had held faculty appointments at the Bowman-Gray School of Medicine, University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill, and Duke University School of Medicine. His publications and academic progress describe a skilled generalist faculty member who practiced and taught with a knowledgeable eye on the patho-physiology of disease. His clinical research focused on practical obstetric al issues, the delivery of safe, efficient medicine, and innovations in care. His academic success led him to be selected as the first Chairman of Obstetrics and at the Brody School of Medicine in 1977. His prior experiences served him well in the curricular and fiscal challenges expected in a start-up community medical school in a grossly underserved region of North Carolina. His tenure as Chair from 1977-1984 was characterized by equitable obstetric and gynecological care to all races and those with varied economic circumstances. Dr. Brame demanded the best from his learners and students. He was an early proponent of "evidenced-based care" and "life-long learning". After he stepped down as Chair in 1984, Dr. Brame remained clinically active as a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brody School of Medicine as he served senior administrative roles at the School of Medicine including Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Director of the Eastern Area Health Education Center, and Associate Dean for Continuing Education. After Dr. Brame left Brody School of Medicine in 1991, he remained a friend and mentor to Brody faculty (including me as the Chair from 1998-2012).

The remainder of his career was spent as a senior gynecologist, educator and mentor in other major teaching institutions including starting the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program in Greenville, South Carolina and serving on the faculties of the University of Virginia School Of Medicine, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, and Carolina's Medical Center. One of Dr. Brame's legacies at Brody School of Medicine is the commitment that there should be a single standard of care for all patients seen at Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, and at Vidant Medical Center. Dr. Brame described his thoughts and efforts to establish the ECU OBGYN department and a uniform standard of care in his paper "The new tertiary obstetrical center: more than men and machines". Brame RG, MacKenna J, Jones DE. N C Med J. 1981; 42(10):705-8. This paper is still timely today as we face health care funding uncertainties.

Robert Brame is survived by one sibling, his sister, Elizabeth Henry of Wendell; his wife of 60 years, Nancy Hounshell Brame, his children Griff Brame and Karen Graham and her husband Don, his grandchildren Andrew, Emily and Will Brame; Dean, Jenny and Matt Graham; and Chris and Holly Colvin. In addition, he will be missed by many nieces, nephews and cousins. Eastern North Carolina will miss him as well.

Submitted by Edward R. Newton

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