Douglas Douthit, a prominent Wichita obstetrician and gynecologist who cared for generations of Wichita women, has died, his office said Friday.
Confirmation of the circumstances of his death was not immediately available, said Krista Long, office manager at Wichita OB-GYN Associates where Douthit practiced since 1983.
Douthit, 59, had been in private practice since 1980, according to his office website. He specialized in general and high-risk obstetrics and gynecology, the website said, and was a member of the Pharmacy and Home Health Care committees at Wesley Medical Center.
In addition to his practice, he provided clinical instruction to physician residents through the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, where he also served on the library committee.
The medical school issued a statement saying, “Dr. Douthit was a physician, teacher, mentor, and colleague. The KU School of Medicine-Wichita and our students are better because of his work and his many contributions.”
Douthit is fondly remembered by women he cared for in his practice.
Like Angie Shepherd.
As a young doctor, Douthit was one of the two physicians who delivered her in 1980.
At her mother’s suggestion, she picked Douthit as her doctor when she grew up and returned to Wichita in 2005. And he delivered all three of her children, she said.
Shepherd and her husband, Mike, said their 5-year-old daughter Madison Noel owes her middle name to Douthit. The baby was due on Jan. 1 but came early, on Dec. 24.
“When she was actually born, he (Douthit) started singing ‘The First Noel,’ ” Angie Shepherd said. “So that’s when we decided that was perfect – the perfect middle name.”
That was also the night they began a hat tradition.
Angie Shepherd said her husband wore a knit cap to the hospital and wouldn’t take it off because he thought his hair wouldn’t look good. Then, when the doctor arrived, he was wearing one, too.
So while Angie Shepherd was going through labor, the men were laughing and taking pictures of themselves in their hats, she said.
“I’m like, ‘OK guys, I’m ready to push now,’” she said.
A year later when the Shepherds’ baby Nate was born, father and doctor wore baseball caps representing their favorite teams. And the year after that, when baby Tom came along, the men wore near-identical hats saying “No. 1 Dad” and “No. 1 Doc,” she said.
She said that kind of personal touch is what separated Douthit from other doctors.
“I know he had tons and tons of patients, but he always would remember things about you,” she said.