Tell us about your role at the Cleveland Clinic. Are you involved in research, teaching, patient care, etc.?
I have been on staff in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic for 15 years. I am directly involved in patient care, seeing patients five days-a-week, and have a specialization in the treatment of thoracic cancers. I am currently the Director of Thoracic Radiation Oncology for the Department. I am involved in training our Residents and am the Chair of the Clinical Competency Committee for Residency Training. I am active in clinical research with a particular interest in developing our institutional experience in the use of lung stereotactic body radiotherapy. I am a member of the NRG RTOG Lung Cancer Core Committee and have worked on a number of clinical guidelines in lung cancer for ASTRO.
What does it mean to you to be selected as a Fellow of ASTRO?
My strongest feeling about FASTRO came early on when I heard from one of my colleagues that he was nominating me for the award because he said I deserved to be considered for all the work I had done. To know that was incredibly humbling and amazing at the same time. I am very grateful for being selected.
Why do you make financial contributions to the Radiation Oncology Institute?
I feel so lucky to be part of an incredible specialty. Giving to the ROI feels like one of the simplest and very concrete ways I have of saying a “thank you” for the privilege of my practice. For me this honors the patients I look after and the people who trained me, through supporting the work of other colleagues who are trying to advance our specialty.
What would you tell others who are considering a gift to the ROI? Why should they give to the ROI?
The ROI is “ours” and one of the few Radiation Oncology specific organizations dedicated to nurturing progress in education and research.
What would you say to encourage ASTRO Fellows like yourself to support ROI?
I think Fellows have to be leaders, and leaders encourage by example.
Why did you decide to become a radiation oncologist?
I had been practicing as a family doctor in Canada for three years, when I decided to develop my expertise in Geriatrics. On the cusp of accepting a position as a GP-geriatrician, an unexpected series of events led me to work, for what I thought would be a brief time, as a hospitalist on the medical and radiation oncology wards at a regional cancer center. I became smitten with the experience of caring for patients on the radiation oncology service and decided to do a second residency in the specialty.
How do you envision the future of the field of radiation oncology? In what ways would you like to see it grow/evolve?
My experience with lung stereotactic body radiotherapy, which was unknown to me during my training and early years in practice, has taught me that there have to be many amazing things yet to be discovered in our specialty. The driver for change will continue to be applying what we know about radiation while also drawing on innovations in other specialties.