Please describe a few of the key roles and responsibilities of your position as Medical Director of Gynecologic Oncology and Medical Director of Robotic Surgery.
For both roles it is critical to evaluate and promote best practices for gynecologic oncology and for our robotic surgery program. Additionally, work is being done to make sure that we offer the most current, innovative therapies for our patients with gynecologic cancers or those who need gynecologic surgery.
Are there some specific advances in gynecologic oncology or robotic surgery that you feel are particularly exciting at this time?
Cancer care is becoming more individualized, more precise. Ovarian cancer is a very different disease from one person to the next. We are starting to understand that the reason for such dramatic differences among patients is that their cancers often have different genetic mutations that determine a patient’s course. We are now routinely testing patients’ cancers for various mutations that might help identify additional treatments when standard options have been exhausted.
What brought you to Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA)?
As part of the process for determining whether I would join the team at CTCA®, I visited our hospital in Philadelphia. It was clear to me from the moment I walked in the door that this was not a typical hospital: The staff was very welcoming, and the patients even seemed happy to be here. Here they were, dealing with a horrible disease, but they were so positive, so uplifting. They were clearly getting amazing care.
What does a “typical” day look like for you at CTCA?
A typical day can start out with surgery in the operating room followed by seeing patients in the clinic and then administering chemotherapy. Add to that one or two meetings related to improving the quality of care we provide, and that pretty much covers it.
What is most inspiring to you as you work with patients?
My patients set an amazing example. They undergo a radical surgery. They undergo chemotherapy and experience side effects. Yet they remain positive and upbeat. They still manage to smile. And it’s real. It’s genuine and authentic.