Wednesday, March 14, 2018

February Break

It’s been a busy few months. In addition to professional transitions last fall, I traveled extensively across the country and internationally lecturing. I had immersed myself in the significantly greater administrative responsibilities of my new role, with days scheduled to meet with my new colleagues, fellows, institutional leaders, and staff. I loved it (still do). But it also meant I wasn’t home often, and when I was, I would make dinner, eat dinner, retire to my office for a couple of hours, then go to sleep so I could wake early and do it all over again.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Why Should I Stop?

Part of the challenge in oncology is maintaining the balance between hope and reality, and that is probably the most important thing to strive for on behalf of patients living with metastatic disease. Often times, the important conversations relate to treatment options, goals of care, and patient preferences (i.e., frequency of visits to the doctor, side-effect profiles of treatment options, and the important life events patients do not want to miss). Yet, some of the most important are also the ones I struggle with the most.

Friday, January 19, 2018

What Makes a Good Doctor?

I have been fortunate enough to find a home in academic medicine. Most of that time I’ve spent in oncology—working with residents, fellows, and colleagues on projects, whether they be chart-based or prospectively designed trials. I’ve lectured a ton, and written even more. Yet, my experience in academia has also allowed me to help choose future medical students, residents, and fellows, and this has perhaps been one of the most important aspects of the profession.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Holidays in Cancer Land

December is a tough time for me. I find myself wishing the inpatient wards would be emptying and we would have successive nights without a patient needing to be urgently admitted. I fantasize that my patients, and those being treated for cancer by my colleagues, will have a respite, to go home, be with family, open presents, and a good holiday meal. Sadly, this is never the case. Patients will be diagnosed during the holiday season, some will require surgery, others will continue on chemotherapy. Some will receive good news that their cancer has responded, or that they are in remission. Others will be told that their cancer has progressed or that treatment has not worked or that they are dying. The wheels of medicine will continue to turn and we, as oncologists, will continue to care for our patients.