Undergraduate: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI
Medical school: Wayne State University – Detroit, MI
Internal Medicine residency: Indiana University – Indianapolis, IN
Hematology/Oncology fellowship: University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI
Areas of Interest:
Specialties (such as Breast, Myeloma, Pancreas):
Breast, Prostate, Kidney, Bladder, Colorectal, Pancreas, Lung, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma, B Cell Lymphomas, Myeloma, Myelodysplastic Syndrome, General Hematology/Oncology
Hobbies / Interests:
Family time with my husband, soccer-loving son, and two pooches. Early morning exercise. Scary movies. Sketching and painting.
What medical change has impacted the field of cancer the most since you began practicing medicine?
Immunotherapy, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy (a type of immunotherapy), and more attention on the treatment of rare diseases. The field is getting better at reducing toxic side effects and offering more supportive care in order to help patients enjoy healthier, longer lives. In some cases, safer personalized targeted options are displacing riskier chemotherapies. With these exciting new advancements also comes appreciation for managing unique side effects and balancing cost consciousness.
Why did you choose your field?
During my medical school application season, a college friend was diagnosed with cancer. This experience led me to pursue hematology/oncology as a career. Along the way I met inspiring mentors who reinforced my career decisions and personal growth.
Why did you choose Illinois to practice when you could have gone anywhere in the country?
Trusted mentors and colleagues highly recommended ILCC. The combination of state-of-the-art patient care with access to clinical trials as well as workplace culture have been a good fit for me. Since joining, my family and I have been absolutely grateful for the opportunity and for the wonderful Bloomington community.
Do you have any advice to give patients after they have been diagnosed with cancer?
Cancer is scary and we all have to respect that. At the same time, you do not stop being the person you were before the diagnosis. Take your time to process. Remember that cancer is not your fault. Then set simple goals to continue living a full and busy life with the ones who love you. Sleep and exercise. Come time for your appointments, create your own personal care team to divide up specific tasks and help you feel prepared: someone who will jot down notes at each visit, someone who picks up and tracks your medications with you. We at ILCC want to help you learn about, cope with, and treat cancer. You will have many people who care about you no matter what. Taking it one day at a time is the best that anyone can do.
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