Guest Editorial: Celebrating a Giant: Dr. Alyce Gullatte by Dr. Patricia Newton

(PHOTO Source: Twitter)

(WASHINGTON, DC – May 2, 2020) – We have lost a giant. She was the first African American powerhouse of a doctor that I met while I was in medical school at Washington University in St. Louis and then she became President of the local SNMA chapter at the medical school. I remember being introduced to her by my best friend at the time, the late and great Duke University pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Brenda Armstrong, who was across town at St. Louis U Medical School.

Dr. Gullatte was so powerful and I had never met anyone quite like her in my life. Over the years, she was always supportive of my efforts as I advanced in my own medical career. Once I moved to the DC area, she would always remind me of a dress that I had designed and made for her while I was still in medical school. She would say, “If you were not such a great doc, you could have been a great fashion designer.”

We would always have a great laugh about it.

During my senior year in medical school, I took an elective at the NIMH and was able to meet and talk with her a lot and it was her who introduced me to Dr. Frances Welsing and both put me under their wings. I became a psychiatrist rather than a surgeon like I had planned largely because these two giants were psychiatrists and I loved and admired them both greatly.

She will be so missed as she was deeply loved and respected by many in all of Medicine and her community. She cared deeply for people and was a staunch rebel against human suffering and injustice wherever they reared their ugly heads. She was fearless and would fight for what she cared about.

Her life legacy will never be forgotten. She touched way too many lives for that to occur. Yes, a giant and very mighty oak has fallen and the void in the forest will not be filled. But she has left her mark and COVID-19 can never take that away from us.

May the ancestors and The Almighty Creator welcome their tireless warrior woman home with open arms and her spirit soul soar for eternity! Ase’

Dr. Pat Newton
(Nana Akosua Akyaa)