Dr Richard Rick Bernard Patt

May 12, 1954January 20, 2013

RICHARD BERNARD PATT, M.D. ,passed away comfortably at home in Houston on the 20th of January 2013 with Pauline, his loving wife of 15 years, at his bedside. He was born on the 12th of May 1954 to parents, Shirley Patt and Howard Henry Patt of Baltimore, Maryland.

Rick was preceded in death by his mother, Shirley Patt. He is survived by his devoted wife, Pauline; his step-son, Sean Hogle; father, Howard Henry Patt, all of Houston; brothers, Robert Patt-Corner and wife Melanie, and their children, Tessa and Drake, all of Cabin John, Maryland, and Stephen Patt, M.D. and wife Lisa, and their children, Ariel and Paris, all of Topanga, California.

Rick was originally recruited from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, as Deputy Chief of MD Anderson Cancer Pain and Symptom Management, and Director of The Anesthesia Pain and Fellowship Program, and Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Neuro-Oncology. He developed the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Anesthesiology Pain Program in 1993.

Richard Bernard Patt, M.D. was a caring compassionate man and physician. Not only did he treat patients on the physician level, but he believed in the power of music and its healing qualities. He was always ready with a song, guitar in hand or in car, and a smile, even when he became the patient and wasn't the doctor any more.

Being a part of the Houston music scene as "Dr. Rick" with fellow musicians, friends and family kept him going during his life here in Houston. As he said "there's got to be an open jam somewhere" and if there wasn't one or if he couldn't go, he'd make sure someone was always coming over to play music. He was a gifted writer, author, speaker, singer, mentor, and friend who had touched so many people in a lot of different ways. He said everyone just, "Enjoy Every Sandwich." In accordance to his expressed wishes, no services are to be conducted.

Posted in the Houston Chronicle by Tony Freemantle, Houston Chronicle

When Richard Patt was diagnosed with end-stage lung cancer in March last year, he made a conscious decision not to fight it. He knew the odds. He was a doctor, an anesthesiologist by training, and a pioneer in the treatment of pain in terminal cancer patients. He had witnessed first-hand the value of death with dignity.

Instead of trying to buy a little more time with debilitating chemotherapy and radiation, his preferred therapy would be to play music until he couldn't any more.

Last Wednesday night, weak and slipping in and out of coherence, he took the stage at the Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club and nailed a short set; on Sunday, he died peacefully at home with his wife, Pauline, at his side. He was 58.

Patt, who served two terms as a board member for the Houston Blues Society and was the front-man for Dr. Rick's Fool's Paradise, ended his life playing music in Houston. But he began it in Baltimore growing up as the youngest of three boys in the Pill Hill neighborhood of the city.


  • None

Dr Richard Rick Bernard Patt

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


January 27, 2018

Rich was an esteemed colleague, and a great friend for 25 years. We both grew up in the world of cancer pain academia. We often traveled in the same conference circles and spoke at the same meetings, symposia and conferences. I remember several that were particularly fun. Rich and I were speaking at an AIDS pain symposium in Paris. We had dinner with our hosts. Rich had an encyclopedic knowledge of jokes. Rich was able to tell several jokes on any topic brought up. He did this fir 2hours until we just stopped from exhaustion. We spoke together at a symposium on pain in Berlin. Rich had traveled to Amsterdam just before ,eating us in Berlin. In was 1994. I asked Rich how h3 liked Amsterdam. His reply, when I die I want to come back as a bicycle seat in Amsterdam! Last time I saw Rich was in 2012 when I spoke at MDAnderson. He took me to his house and showed me the incredible water park he had created. Then he played some guitar and we talked about death. Rich loved life. I loved Rich. Will miss him always. Will remember him always. Bill Breitbart MD, Chairman, Dept. Psychiatry, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Spike McCaleb (Kirkwood)

March 3, 2017

Miss you old friend. Think of you often and know you are playing with the angels

Stevie Patt

March 2, 2017

hmmm...'enjoy every sandwich"...where have I heard that phrase before? Still miss him, and with time, the good becomes comical and light, the bad, just a blur...hope he's up there in heaven playing the blues he loved so well...

Sherrie Zeno-Williams

February 22, 2015

How I so miss you Dr. Patt. May you rest in peace..

W. David Leak

July 31, 2014

I miss you Richard. The world that kept us so connected kept us apart. I just learned you left this world. I am speaking to you Richard. Thank you for all you shared and the opportunities you gave me. I cherish even more the copy of your book you allowed me to write a chapter in. Ironically, Cancer Pain Management. So strange we are both afflicted with that horrible disease we fought so hard against. Yes I am writing in the present tense as your great spirit and soul still live within my essence. I will never forget the ASA meeting when everyone was so stuffy and full of themselves. You and Dave Longmire took the band's instruments at the Marriott in New Orleans and jammed. it was such a great human moment. Always proud to know you. I love you Bro. David

Eric Gewirtz

August 24, 2013

I trained w Rick at Einstein in the 80s,They were good times in my life,I will always rebember Rick!!! we started talking again recently , we had much more in common than we realized ,These conversation went on for long periods of time,These conversations were special and will never be forgotten!!!!

Katherine Ehrmentraut

August 1, 2013

Always had a good time with Rick and Pauline. He will be watching over you. God Bless you.

Brennen Nase

April 18, 2013

I love you Doc. You were so good to me. I miss you terribly, and cannot wait to meet again on the other side. Peace my friend.
Brennen Nase

nancy heneson

April 16, 2013

Dear Pauline,

Last summer, when you and Rick came to Baltimore, it had been around 40 years since he and I had last seen each other. With the slightly clearer eye of an adult, I saw what an amazing person he was, a man of great depth and even greater perceptiveness about people. When he was a young teenager, he tried on poses like everyone else, but there was always something genuinely avant garde about him--he was way ahead of the curve in many realms. A very memorable man, underappreciated then, now mourned too soon.


Pauline Hogle-Patt

April 16, 2013