Lauren Gray Gilstrap, a 38-year-old cardiologist and researcher at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, died on October 21, 2022. Her death was announced by her hospital on Twitter, where she received many tributes from colleagues, friends, and patients. Gilstrap was a rising star in the field of advanced heart disease and transplant cardiology, having become the program head in 2021. She was also a professor at the Geisel School of Medicine and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. She was described as a “proverbial triple threat” – an effective clinician, an outstanding scholar, and a gifted educator who inspired many people with her compassion, enthusiasm, and dedication.
What Happened to Lauren Gilstrap?
Despite the widespread recognition and admiration for Gilstrap’s achievements and personality, the cause of her death remains unknown. Her obituary did not mention any details about how she died, only that she is survived by her wife, Janet, and their two children, Katelyn and David, as well as her parents, brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces. Her memorial service was held at The Church of Christ at Dartmouth College on October 29.
The lack of information about Gilstrap’s cause of death has led to some speculation and rumors on social media and online forums. Some people have suggested that she died by suicide or due to complications from the coronavirus vaccine. However, these claims are not supported by any evidence or confirmation from Gilstrap’s family or hospital. Therefore, they should be treated with caution and respect for Gilstrap’s privacy and legacy.
Why Gilstrap’s Death Matters
Gilstrap’s death is a tragic loss not only for her loved ones but also for the medical community and society at large. She was a pioneer in her field, conducting innovative research on heart failure, transplantation, health services, and health policy. She published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and received several awards and grants for her work. She was also a mentor and teacher to many students, fellows, and colleagues, sharing her knowledge and passion with them. She was a role model for women in medicine, especially those who identify as LGBTQ+.
Gilstrap’s death also raises awareness about the challenges and pressures that physicians face in their careers and lives. According to a study by the American Medical Association, physicians have higher rates of burnout, depression, and suicide than the general population. They also face increased risks of exposure to infectious diseases, violence, and lawsuits. These factors can affect their physical and mental health, as well as their quality of care and patient outcomes.
Therefore, it is important to support physicians in their professional and personal well-being, by providing them with adequate resources, training, counseling, and recognition. It is also essential to honor their contributions and achievements, as well as their humanity and vulnerability.
How to Remember Lauren Gilstrap
Lauren Gilstrap was a remarkable person who touched many lives with her brilliance, kindness, and generosity. She will be remembered for her excellence in medicine, research, education, and leadership. She will also be remembered for her love for her family, friends, colleagues, patients, and community.
To honor her memory, we can follow her example of pursuing our passions with dedication and integrity. We can also support the causes that she cared about, such as advancing cardiovascular health, promoting LGBTQ+ rights, and improving health equity. We can also express our gratitude and appreciation to the physicians who serve us with compassion and professionalism.
Gilstrap’s death is a reminder that life is precious and fragile. We should cherish every moment we have with our loved ones and ourselves. We should also celebrate the lives of those who have left us too soon but have made a lasting impact on the world.