In Memory of Dr. Montauk: Compassionate, Passionate Family Doctor

by Leigh Ann Otte

Q. They say laughter is the best medicine. What movie or television show makes you laugh out loud?

A. Harold and Maude. It not only makes me laugh out loud at many of life’s absurdities, but it helps reaffirm why we go on in spite of them.

Susan Louisa Montauk, My Family Doctor magazine, fall 2006.

The world lost a good doctor last Monday. And the My Family Doctor team lost a respected colleague. Susan Louisa Montauk, M.D. passed away from rectal cancer. She was 61.

Susan, a family doctor, was one of my go-to writers for our former magazine. I knew she’d deliver a well-written, upbeat, trustworthy article. She was so good that we invited her to be on the magazine’s editorial board. Thankfully for us, she accepted. Susan knew her stuff, and she was wonderful to work with.

In Cincinnati, OH, where she practiced, Susan was known as a compassionate, passionate physician. Early this year, the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote about her:

In the early 1990s, she was one of the few family doctors working with AIDS patients. In 2002, she jumped at the chance to work on the Cincinnati Health Care for the Homeless Mobile Van, which visits shelters throughout the city.

“The thing that makes our program so successful is physicians like Susan who are not afraid to hold, to touch, and to care for (homeless) patients,” says Kate Bennett, president and CEO of the Cincinnati Health Network Inc.

You can read the Enquirer‘s latest article about her here. [Editor's note: Link removed; article no longer available at that URL.]

Susan was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2007—about a year after we published the quote that begins this post. She began hospice care last summer. Survivors include her husband, Stan, and two sons. In a small attempt at honoring her life-well-spent, we’re featuring one of her articles this week: “What Is a Physiatrist?” True to form, she warms up what could have been a cold, dry topic.

Below is a list of her articles we previously published.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of and a freelance health writer.

This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

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5 Responses to “In Memory of Dr. Montauk: Compassionate, Passionate Family Doctor”

  1. Judy Rodman Says:

    A long time reader of MFD I had read most of Dr. Montauk’s articles you listed. Very sorry to learn of this great soul’s passing, but she has obviously left a legacy that will keep on helping and healing others. Thank you for extending her legacy here.
    Judy Rodman recently posted..Error on site judy – trying to read http://judy resulted in error : A feed could not be found at http://judy

  2. lotte Says:

    Thank you, Judy. Yes, so true. She has left a wonderful, powerful legacy.

    Leigh Ann Otte
    Managing Editor

  3. Jamie Menkhaus Says:

    Dr. Montauk and I worked together at the UC Family Practice through thick and thin. She was a wonderful person and I admired her in every way. She was not only passionate and compassionate but also charming, witty, smart and just a fun loving person. My prayers go out to all of her loved ones and thoughts of her will continue to go through my mind when I think back at some of the great times we had.
    I just heard of her passing today when I called the Affinity Center on a business call. Jamie Menkhaus

  4. lotte Says:

    Thank you for sharing your memories, Jamie.

    Leigh Ann Otte
    Managing Editor

  5. Why Does My Nose Run When I Have a Cold? Says:

    [...] family doctor SUSAN LOUISA MONTAUK, M.D., was a professor of clinical family medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of [...]

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