Dr. Ralph Dauterive and Dr. Erin Dauterive share a bond that goes beyond their careers at Ochsner Medical Center Baton Rouge.
The Dauterives spend more time together than the average father daughter duo, sharing the family dinner table, and on occasion, the operating table.
Dr. Ralph Dauterive is vice president of medical affairs at Ochsner Medical Center Baton Rouge and lead physician of obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN). He says he’s performed more than 100 surgeries alongside his first child and only daughter.
Reminiscing on the day she was born, he calls her "quite a surprise."
“Erin came into the world very quickly. We were one of those couples that got in the car and went flying to the hospital, running red lights at three in the morning,” Ralph said, laughing fondly at the memory.
He was just starting his senior year of medical school when Erin was born. He remembers going to lamaze classes at Baptist Hospital, which is now an Ochsner hospital.
“I go to conferences there now and it’s in the room where I did this lamaze class,” he said.
Their relationship would have many more full circle moments as daddy’s little girl eventually followed in her father’s footsteps, going to medical school, and even choosing obstetrics and gynecology as her practice.
“It was really cool to see her go into medicine," he said.
Erin says her dad never pushed her toward medicine, but he still had some influence.
"He always really seemed to enjoy his job. He really seemed to enjoy surgery as well, and that was very inspiring to me," said Dr. Erin Dauterive, physician and OBYGN.
“I just loved OBGYN when I rotated through it and I would call my dad every day from rotation, ‘Guess what I got to do,’ and just really enjoyed it and felt like this was the path for me,” she said.
Their career paths paralleled even more, both doing their residence at Ochsner New Orleans.
"Some of the nurses that worked there when I was there said, 'Oh, your daughter's here. She's really nice.' They were kind of hinting that I might not have been quite as nice as Erin," said Dr. Ralph Dauterive with laughter.
Dr. Erin Dauterive shared a similar laugh. “The ER would page for a consult on the weekend or on-call and I would return the page and there would always be this moment of relief when the ER doctor would say, 'Oh, you're the Dr. Dautrive that's on-call.' OK, good, we thought it was your dad,” she said.
If someone calls for Dr. Dautrive when they’re together, "They say ‘Daddy Dautrive’ or they call me ‘Little D,’" she said.
Erin is not the only legacy at Ochsner. “There’s this whole new class of us, kind of a second generation of physicians that have parents that worked for Ochsner in some sort of role here, so it is like a family and it’s neat seeing this different side of people that you grew up with,” said Dr. Erin Dautrive.
As for working with her dad, she makes it clear he’s the boss.
“It is a different relationship definitely than the father daughter relationship. One thing I can say about him as a boss, he recognizes how important family is to me and to my other partners.”
They have an equal appreciation for their professional time together. "Doing surgery with her is really cool because I feel like I'm passing on knowledge,” he said.
“Not many people get to do that with their father, so that's pretty neat,” she said. “I continue to see him as a mentor and as somebody I can continue to bounce ideas off of. If I have a case that may have an unfortunate outcome, he’s the first one I think to call and talk to him about it.”
Dr. Ralph Dauterive says it’s the complicated cases they generally work on together. “It’s kind of nice to be able to get in there and help out and have her come and help me as well,” he said.
Erin says there’s certainly a professional side to their relationship, but they’re able to keep it separate.
“He was my dad first and always will be my dad," said Erin.
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