Why did you go into cancer care?
My first dealings with cancer came when my Nana died of colon cancer. She was 58; I was 16. I spent a lot of time with her when she was ill, so cancer made an impression on me at a relatively young age. I was already interested in a medical career but was planning to become a surgeon. I was on that trajectory in medical school and thought I would go back home to rural Maine after graduation…until I did a rotation in my third year on the medical oncology ward. All of a sudden, I realized that I LOVED what I was doing and it had nothing to do with surgery.
When I came to Tufts for my residency training, I was fortunate to work with two giants in the field of hematology, Drs. Jane Desforges and Robert Schwartz as they neared the end of their clinical practice years and with Dr. David Schenkein, a younger faculty member. These physicians were so full of energy and passionate about their work that I just became hooked on hematology. I wanted to do what they did.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
There are many rewarding things about my job but the most rewarding for me is the daily interaction with my patients. I feel privileged to be part of their cancer journey. I get so much back from them. I am constantly amazed by their strength, courage and grace.
Tell us one interesting fact about yourself.
My husband and I enjoy riding a tandem road bike. Yes, a bicycle built for two. We have had the luxury of taking a number of cycling vacations both in the US and abroad. My favorite trip so far was in 2010. We traveled to the French Alps where we watched the Tour De France, rode some of the famous climbs and shared a chalet with riders from the Sky Pro Cycling team.
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