Ruth Oratz’s special passion is to help women diagnosed with cancer. As a New York oncologist, her practice focuses on breast and gynecological cancers. She treats women at risk, those with family histories that make them susceptible to cancer or who have pre-malignant conditions.
Oratz is associate professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and a practicing oncologist at New York University Tisch Hospital. She is particularly concerned with helping women who are diagnosed with cancer continue to live their lives while fighting the disease. She places importance on flexible treatment programs, and those that address women’s concerns about career, family life, relationships and sexuality.
As chairperson of the Ethics Committee at NYU Medical Center, her focus extends to ethical issues in all aspects of medical practice including reproductive technology, neonatal/congenital anomalies, end-of-life concerns, withholding and withdrawing of treatment, physician assisted suicide, institutional ethics, research on human subjects, ethics guidelines for international scientific research and disclosure of medical error.
Oratz has an ongoing interest in the history of medicine and the connection of medicine and the humanities. As a faculty member in the Masters Scholars Program, she has taught courses on Medicine, Healing and Art: Doctors and the Holocaust and TB in Art and Society. An example of the interdisciplinary nature of these courses is encapsulated in the description of the TB seminar: “This seminar introduced art and literature dealing with the victims of tuberculosis and/or created by artists with tuberculosis. The works were discussed in the context of the history, contemporary science and technology. The intermingling of history of tuberculosis and contemporary attitudes and politics surrounding tuberculosis were discussed in light of the art and literature inspired by the disease to further our understanding of the interplay of disease, social attitudes and art."