My goal is to to be a clinically excellent oncologist, which means being compassionate, spending time with patients and families in order to understand their needs, helping with treatment decisions, and being there for end-of-life decisions as well as hospice care.
Passion in the Medical Profession | October 22, 2018 | 2 min read
During my first year of medical school, I spent two days with a medical oncologist in private practice. I found the oncological medical issues challenging and the treatment decision-making process fascinating, but what I was most attracted to was the cancer patients themselves. I was amazed by the strength, courage, and bravery of these patients and their families as they faced life-threatening diseases. I also found it remarkable how patients were willing to endure toxicities and try new treatments for even a small chance of benefit.
From those early experiences, my goal was to be an excellent oncologist, which means being a compassionate physician, spending time with patients and families in order to understand their needs, helping them with treatment decisions, and when the time came, and being there for end-of-life decisions as well as hospice care.
I try to keep my focus on providing compassionate, personalized care. I make every effort not to forget the basics like getting new patients into clinic promptly, spending time talking with patients and families in order to be able to explain options thoroughly, coordinating care with other specialists, and staying involved through hospice care, if need be.
For my patients, I make sure they can reach me directly by cell phone or pager, I see them promptly in clinic for acute issues, I do my best to get them directly admitted to our service if they need hospitalization and avoid the emergency room, I follow them closely in the hospital whether I am attending or not, and I phone or email anyone that I need to in order to ensure that they are seen promptly by physicians in other disciplines at Hopkins or any institution where they are best served.
I try to set an example for my colleagues, nursing staff, and office staff on how to provide the optimal care for each and every one of our cancer patients. Even after all these years, I still strive, along with my staff, to find better ways to follow the approach I developed during my first exposure to medical oncology, providing compassionate, high-quality, and individualized care for my patients.
Even though I am busier than ever, I still do my best to give my patients the time they need to understand the issues, to explain the options, to make sure we have exhausted all the options, and provide emotional support.