Garth Essig Sr., MD, died Wednesday, April 13. Dr. Essig was a Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology faculty member for more than 44 years and was named Emeritus Faculty upon his retirement in 2012.
Dr. Essig began his career with Ohio State in 1957, when he enrolled in our College of Medicine. After receiving his medical degree in 1961 and completing an internship at Springfield City Hospital, he accepted a commission in the uniformed service of the U.S. Public Health Service’s Division of Indian Health at Choctaw Hospital in Philadelphia, Miss. Dr. Essig then completed a four-year obstetrics and gynecology residency at Ohio State. He was concurrently an American Cancer Society fellow during the fourth year, which led to an additional one-year cancer fellowship through the National Institutes of Health, also served at Ohio State.
Since 1968, when he joined Ohio State’s faculty, Dr. Essig served under the chairmanships of Dr. John Ullery, Dr. Frederick Zuspan, Dr. Steven Gabbe, Dr. Larry Copeland and Dr. Mark Landon. He held a number of positions, including Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology acting chair (1973-1974), Medical Information Management Committee chair (1989-2005), Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee chair, University Hospital chief-of-staff (2003-2005), OSU Wexner Medical Center Board of Trustees member and Wexner Medical Center Executive Committee member.
An elected fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Dr. Essig received The Ohio State University College of Medicine Alumni Achievement Award in 2002. He delivered nearly 10,000 babies over his 44 years in the profession.
Dr. Essig was a beloved mentor to our medical students, playing a role in their education his entire career. He was assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1971-1976, associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1976-2012 and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology student clerkship director from 1970-2012. He was named Professor of the Year in 1973, and over the years was honored with the Senior Class Teaching Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award several times (classes of 1981, 1982, 1985, 1988 and 2007). He was named the College of Medicine and Public Health’s Distinguished Educator in 2003. And in 2012, Dr. Essig received a Faculty Teaching Award from the Medical Alumni Society. It is estimated that Dr. Essig mentored nearly 9,000 students throughout his career.
Ever the educator, Dr. Essig presented his final lecture to his medical students two months ago, discussing what it was like to be a physician with a terminal diagnosis.
We extend our condolences to Dr. Essig’s family and to his many colleagues and associates. He will be remembered as a champion of patient care and for his unselfish night and weekend staff coverage for the Emergency Medicine and Gynecology and Obstetrics departments. He was a good friend and faculty member and will be missed.
Memorial contributions may be made to a new fund his family established, The Garth F. Essig, Sr., MD Fund.