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Lasting Lessons: Lisa Ring, AB '76, MD '80

Honoring Professor Arthur Eisen and an Education That Shaped a Life  

From the moment I started my residency in dermatology, I actually had a mentor,” says Lisa Ring, second from the left. “Dr. Eisen deserves to be honored by all the people whose careers he helped to shape.” Pictured above, Ring and her husband, Greg Storch, reunite with Professor Arthur Eisen and his wife, Miriam.


Lisa Ring, AB ’76, MD ’80, was in the second year of her obstetrics and gynecology residency at Washington University School of Medicine when she had an epiphany. “I was tired and miserable, and I realized I had made a mistake in my career choice.”

After a long night on call in the labor and delivery unit, Ring learned about a possible opening in the dermatology residency program. “I hadn’t slept in hours, but I brushed my teeth, brushed my hair, and went to meet Dr. Eisen for the first time.”

Professor Arthur Eisen, MD, led the university’s Division of Dermatology and dermatology residency program for 30 years. He became an influential mentor to Ring – who took the open dermatology spot – and dozens of other physicians who trained under him, including many who went on to assume leadership positions in academic medical centers across the country.

Ring describes Eisen as a great scientist and remarkable teacher. “He nurtured and encouraged his residents and fellows, those who wanted to do basic science and those who wanted to be clinicians,” she says. “He taught by example. He treated every patient like a VIP.”

Paying Tribute

To recognize the teacher who had a significant impact on their careers, Ring and several other Eisen trainees established and endowed the Arthur Z. Eisen Junior Investigator Award at the School of Medicine. The award will provide funding to exceptional residents and fellows in the Division of Dermatology to support their career development.

“We wanted Dr. Eisen’s dedication to those he trained to be acknowledged in perpetuity,” Ring says. “Every time this award is given out, it will honor him.”

Eisen, who says he was overwhelmed when he heard about the award created in his name, has remained active in clinical medicine and teaching at the university. He also runs the Division of Dermatology’s weekly journal club and participates in the division’s weekly grand rounds, which are routinely attended by Ring and many other former residents in the St. Louis area.

“I have known Lisa for many years,” Eisen says. “She was an outstanding resident, and she is an outstanding clinician. She has been devoted to the dermatology program since she graduated.”

Determined and Devoted

In addition to completing her residency at Washington University, Ring earned her medical degree and her bachelor’s degree in biology from WashU. She applied early in her junior year of high school. During her interview, she told the admissions representative she would keep applying until she was accepted. “I said, ‘If you want to save us a lot of trouble, just accept me now,’ and they did.”

Ring was 17 when she arrived on the Washington University campus. She met her late husband, Jay Ring, BS ’76, at a social during her freshman year. The couple made their first gift to the university in 1978. “We gave regularly to the university, increasing the amount as we became more able to do so,” Ring says. “I shared Jay’s feelings about supporting the school and always felt good about following his outstanding example.”

After Jay’s death, in 2007, she continued their tradition of giving, supporting various programs throughout the university. Today, she contributes jointly with her husband Greg Storch, MD, who serves as the Ruth L. Siteman Professor of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine.

Active Volunteer

Ring also is active as a volunteer at the university. She serves on the Alumni Board of Governors, is a class agent for the medical school Class of 1980, and will co-chair the 40th Reunion for her undergraduate class. “I’m fortunate to have received my education at Washington University and to have made lifelong friends along the way,” she says. “I’m honored and humbled to be able to give something back.”

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