So, you want to be a cancer doc?

I’ve said it over and over again, I’m in awe of nurses who make the choice to live in cancer world.

I can not figure out how they are able to work day after day with cancer patients.  My admiration for these nurses is beyond words.

I feel the same way about doctors who choose cancer as their calling too.

There will be a new crop of doctor wannabe’s landing on the doorsteps of teaching hospitals around the country very soon.  Those who eventually follow the path to the oncology floors will be special people.

Think about all the things they will be faced with day after day.

There is hope: How will they learn to keep hope alive for every patient they treat?  There will be struggle: They will have to learn the fine art of balancing the  cancer struggle with the cancer outcome.  They must learn that in cancer world, a doctor isn’t just about medicine. A cancer doctor is friend, family and care provider.  They must find their smile.  A cancer doctor can’t be serious all the time.  The disease is serious enough, so the cancer doctor must have a smile to light the treatment road.

Probably the most important piece of a cancer doctor is honesty.  There must be an open, honest dialogue between patient, caregiver and the cancer doctor.  Truth of diagnosis, truth about treatment, and truth about prognosis.

Hope, Balancing the struggle, Being a friend, Smile, Honesty…..These could be tougher to learn than the science, but in my book, NO BODY graduates with out them.

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