Ralph D Harris, is the founder, managing director and president of INTERNET POTENTIAL CONSULTANTS LLC. He has been privileged to enjoy a very varied and interesting career as a medical missionary, hospital administrator, medical director in an H.M.O and Physician-hospital organizations, university professor, realtor, businessman and investor.
Ralph was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1937, the eldest of 5 children of a family which was threatened by the oppressive, racist policies of the ruling government of the time. His father was employed as a brick mason, and his mother was an elementary school teacher.
When he was 13 years old, the family moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town to provide opportunities for the children’s education. With the inspiration and under their strict discipline and the insistence on excellence of his mother, Ralph was inspired to apply himself to his scholastic studies, and in 1954 attained honors as he graduated from high school. This enabled him to earn several scholarships for entrance into a university education. He then received an unsolicited offer for total financial support from a philanthropist, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer (founder of De Beers and Anglo-American Corporations), allowing him to pursue 6 years of medical training at the University of Cape Town Medical School, and graduate with a doctoral degree in 1960.
Soon after graduation Ralph and his new bride, Esme, left South Africa, bound for Malawi and Zambia, Central Africa, to serve for 6 years as medical missionaries and administrators in rural hospitals in those countries. The birth of their 2 children in Malawi, and the unstable political situation in South Africa, resulted in a decision not to return to South Africa, but to emigrate to the U.S.A. in 1967.
There followed 4 years of post-graduate training in Chicago, as a pediatrician and pediatric nephrologist; 20+ years of teaching, research, practice and administration as associate professor at Loma Linda University Medical School in California; and 4 years as director of large HMO clinics in California, while acquiring a masters degree in business administration.
In 1994, as the children were completing their university training, (Karen as a health educator with an M.P.H degree, and Duncan as a Urology surgeon), the family relocated to join their new grandchildren in the beautiful resort city of Coeur d’ Alene in the Panhandle of Northern Idaho, where they resided for 23 years.
In 2015, as the grandchildren were completing their college education (the girls in nursing and pre=medical and the boys in pre-law studies), Ralph and his wife Wsme relocated to the San Diego area in Southern California,where Esme’s health rapidly declined and she died in August 2016, Ralph now lives in San Marcos in northern San Diego county.
Ralph has continued his interest and involvement in international medicine. He was able to spend several short terms of service in Africa and the Far East, as lecturer, relief physician and researcher. His most recent tour of duty was as medical director of a research project using lifestyle public health measures for the successful intervention in reversing the epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes in the Republic of the Marshall Islands in 2006.
Ralph is currently semi-retired, while continuing to pursue his interests in community preventive health education, business, coaching and internet marketing.