‘The pleasure of my life’: Dr. Bangalore Ramesh reflects on 40-year career as psychiatrist and educator

Bangalore Ramesh, MBBS
Bangalore Ramesh, MBBS

As he wraps up a 40-year career as a psychiatrist and an educator, Bangalore Ramesh, MBBS, calls teaching the next generation of physicians “the pleasure of my life.”

Dr. Ramesh, an assistant professor in the medical school’s Department of Psychiatry, will retire April 15. He joined WMed in 2002 and has spent the last 20 years at the medical school working with adult patients as an inpatient psychiatrist. 

He earned his medical degree from Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, India. He completed a psychiatry residency with Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

Prior to joining the medical school, Dr. Ramesh was a psychiatrist in private practice and then at DeLano Clinic in Kalamazoo. He has served as medical director at Greene Memorial Hospital and at Wright Health Associates, both located in Ohio.

“The highlights of my career have been having a primarily adult practice and teaching residents and students, which is really the pleasure of my life,” Dr. Ramesh said. “They keep me stimulated and they ask very important and good questions. I love the interaction with them. Without them, I’d be bored out of my mind.” He’s passionate about teaching the next generation of psychiatrists, but Dr. Ramesh also sees it as his duty as someone who has forged a career in the profession before them. 

Dr. Ramesh said he strives to educate, not judge, when a young colleague isn’t familiar with a term or a case, and said he happily forwards a journal article or a textbook to help. In teaching medical students, he emphasizes dialogue, connection and real-world application. His approach remains a stark contrast to the professors he knew in medical school who would admonish a student for not knowing something, he said. 

“After so many years of practicing I’ve seen pretty much everything at least once, if not more,” Dr. Ramesh said. “Off the top of my head I can come up with clinical details that are difficult with someone with less clinical experience. Residents and graduates tend to come to me for advice. That kind of mentorship is very critical to our newer doctors.”

Dr. Ramesh said he tries to maintain an optimistic attitude for his patients, and mentally puts away his work to-do list on his drive home. He encourages new physicians to have hobbies and interests outside of work, and credits reading and playing golf and tennis with helping him step away from work on a daily basis. In retirement, he and his wife plan to retire near Berkley, California, to be closer to their grown children and two grandchildren. He plans to continue learning in retirement, and one of his first goals is to learn Sanskrit so he can read Hindu scriptures.

When asked his advice for new medical school graduates, especially those heading into their four years of psychiatry residency, Dr. Ramesh emphasized the enormous need of physicians who focus on mental health.

“There’s a tremendous need,” Dr. Ramesh said. “There are nowhere near enough psychiatrists, and we have a duty to take care of the population.”