About Our Founder
Vicki Ratner, MD
It was when she was in medical school that Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA) Founder and President Emeritus, Vicki Ratner, MD, developed the bladder symptoms that led her to consult doctor after doctor, none of them able to provide relief. Eventually, to the astonishment of her medical school professors, she correctly diagnosed herself as having interstitial cystitis (IC) and began treatments that alleviated much of her discomfort. Concerned that others should not have such a difficult time obtaining a diagnosis and treatment, she founded the ICA in 1984.
At that time, the medical literature described IC as a “hysterical condition” that occurred in older women who were somehow emotionally unbalanced. Dr. Ratner worked tirelessly to encourage epidemiologic and basic scientific studies regarding IC and to educate doctors and patients about the disease. Very early on, it was understood that the ICA’s role truly was to serve IC patients, caregivers and researchers to “put the puzzle pieces together” to find effective treatments and a cure for IC.
Now, thanks in large part to the efforts of Dr. Ratner, the superb volunteers and staff she assembled, and the doctors and researchers she encouraged to focus on IC, the medical literature recognizes that IC is a chronic disease that is prevalent among both sexes and among people of all ages and races. More and more doctors are trained to diagnose it correctly and to employ a multimodal approach to treatment that brings great relief to many – but not all – patients. Researchers continue to try to understand the cause of IC and find better treatments and ultimately, a cure.
Dr. Ratner is an orthopedic surgeon in Northern California. She has won countless awards and honors for her work to advance the state of knowledge about IC and to help IC patients. The ICA is profoundly grateful to her.
Revised Monday, May 4th, 2015