Remembering Brooke Peterson Gabster

Brooke Peterson Gabster, MD, an internal medicine resident and beloved member of our community, died on September 11, 2021, surrounded by her family.

“It is certainly with tremendous pride and with many fond memories that we’ll remember the life of a truly, truly special person; one who made such an impact on so many people here in our residency program and throughout the Stanford community,” says Internal Medicine Residency Program Director Ron Witteles, MD, in a Grand Rounds segment dedicated to Brooke.

Colleagues remember Brooke as a vivacious and determined woman with unique joy and warmth. She thrived in academics and excelled as a National Merit Scholar, summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University and medical student at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Outside the classroom, she had a thirst for adventure, exploring Germany, Thailand, South Africa and Ghana, which affirmed her love for clinical medicine and global health care. When she moved to the Bay Area in June 2018 to pursue a residency in internal medicine, her ultimate dream was to improve cancer care in developing countries.

During her time at Stanford, Brooke was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and learned about oncology from an unexpected angle: the patient perspective. She threw herself into researching disease treatment and continued to give back to the medical community. She continued to work part-time as a clinician and wrote a memorable perspective piece for JAMA on her experience as both a physician and patient. Her analysis on the impact of COVID-19 on female academics was published in The Lancet and she shared more on the topic through a Grand Rounds presentation at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

A formal celebration of Brooke’s life took place on October 9 at Stanford Memorial Church.