Gertie was small in stature, but large in personality and had an abiding interest in education, and an enduring passion to become a doctor and provide her patients with the highest possible level of care always from the start of her career. She qualified from UCD in 1978 and after several years in hospital jobs, became a GP and set up her own practice in Churchtown in Dublin, which became the focus of her passion to look after each patient with warmth and a level of dedication that her patients still remember with gratitude. She took in undergraduate Medical Students from UCD for part of their education in the role of general practice in Irish Medicine, but was deeply involved in the ICGP [Irish College of General Practitioners] as one of the first female Examiners; in our local Merrion Faculty where she was held in high esteem for her organizational skills, but also in her small group CME [Continuing Medical Education] over many years.
She was highly regarded by her peers and friends, not only for her commitment, but for her friendship and warmth of personality, and especially for her infectious laugh! She had many outside interests, including handcrafts and loved meeting friends at home, and was renowned for her meals and conversation.
Sadly her life was changed when an aggressive bile duct cancer was discovered, but she went through major surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy with great fortitude, and got several more years in which she made sure to enjoy every minute with meeting friends and family and travelling. Her personality shines out in the photo that was taken after she got the news the tumour returned and the only treatment was palliative care, but she still got a prize from the ICGP on her paper about preventing Osteoporosis in patients being treated for cancer, and she promoted the “Light up a Life” for the Hospice on RTE Radio shortly before she died, receiving the wonderful home care from the Hospice team.
Gertie was very conscious of the fact that she may never have got the chance to study medicine was it not for the fact that she won a scholarship from Tipperary County Council from her Leaving Cert, and had been an enthusiastic supporter of the UCD Foundation from when it began, so her husband Joe, and daughter Niamh, felt it an honour to promote her desire to help other students by starting a Scholarship for Medical Students in UCD in her memory.
In honouring Gertie’s legacy, we are raising money through the Class of 1978 Gift in Memory of Dr Gertrude (Gertie) Ronan-Martin to support deserving medical students at UCD. This support will be administered by UCD Foundation.