Rudi Ansbacher

Lives Lived

Rudi Ansbacher, M.D.

Spring 2018
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Rudi Ansbacher, M.D. (Fellowship 1971), professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology, died January 3, 2018, in Ann Arbor. He earned his M.D. from the University of Virginia Medical School in 1959. He then entered the U.S. Army Medical Corps and took a year of general surgery residency at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. 

Ansbacher retired as a U.S. Army colonel in 1980 after 20 years of service, which included a stint as chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco. He became a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at U-M, and he served as assistant, acting, and interim chairman. He was granted emeritus status in 2002. 

Ansbacher established the mentorship program for OB-GYN residents in 1981 and instituted the mentoring of junior faculty in the department in 1996. His main research interests included infertility, the immunology of reproduction, menopause, and health policy issues. He authored or co-authored 108 scientific papers and 18 chapters, and served as a reviewer for nine scientific journals. 

In 1993, Timothy R.B. Johnson, M.D. (Residency 1979), the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bates Professor of the Diseases of Women and Children, research professor in the Center for Human Growth and Development, and former chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, established the Ansbacher Resident and Fellow Education and Research Fund with contributions from Ansbacher and other faculty members. 

“Dr. Ansbacher was a wonderful teacher and mentor. He cared deeply about his patients and students. He was one of the most principled people I have ever known. He never cut corners or accepted mediocrity in himself or others,” says Dee Fenner, M.D. (Residency 1989), chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Bates Professor of the Diseases of Women and Children. 


This obituary, originally published on, has been edited for clarity and length.