This edition of Williams Gynecology is dedicated to Dr. Karen Bradshaw, who has served as an Editor of Williams Gynecology since its inaugural edition. We are especially grateful for her tenacity during the formative years of our project and her academic support to bring our first edition to print. Our text’s content has benefited greatly from her clinical acumen coupled with a mastery of the evidence-based literature. Her clear, concise chapters distilled challenging reproductive endocrinology tenets into easily understood concepts that translate to the bedside. Indeed, her many teaching awards throughout her career attest to this gift.
Dr. Bradshaw’s roots at the University of Texas Southwestern run deep and include her medical school years, residency training, and fellowship study in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Early in her career as a faculty member at UTSW, she became Director of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Program. Subsequently, she helped develop the Pediatric Gynecology Service at Children’s Hospital, which was a first for Dallas and continues to this day. This was the first of many collaborative and multidisciplinary projects that typify her career. As another example, she was instrumental in expanding the field of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) at our institution and initiated the Laparoscopy Teaching Service. She partnered with the Department of Surgery and was provided a joint appointment to foster MIS development. She served on the Southwestern Minimally Invasive Surgery Executive Committee from its inception in 1997 until her retirement in 2019.
In addition to academics, Dr. Bradshaw was clinically and administratively active in our expanding private practice on campus. As an advocate of health for women as they entered and advanced through menopause, she was the first holder of the Helen J. and Robert S. Strauss and Diana L. and Richard C. Strauss Distinguished Professorship in Women’s Health. Her vision led to development of a single, multidisciplinary site to care for the various health aspects of mature women. This was subsequently endowed and became the Lowe Foundation Center for Women’s Preventative Health Care.
During her academic career, Dr. Bradshaw promoted academic excellence at UTSW. She served administratively on numerous academic committees involved with medical school, residency, and specialty training. Moreover, Karen was a passionate advocate for the advancement of women in academia at our institution. She was also a voice on the national academic stage. Karen served on the Board of the American Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and extensively participated in their postgraduate training efforts. She filled prominent leadership roles in the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, including president. In both organizations, she actively advanced both residency and fellowship training in the specialty.
For us in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Bradshaw has played an important role as mentor and colleague. Her experience and clinical expertise have been invaluable, and she has provided guidance for challenging gynecology cases. On so many levels, we have benefitted greatly from her academic and clinical contributions.