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I feel like the future is very bright. And I can't even imagine what cancer care is going to look like over the next 50 years. It's going to be very exciting.
Huntsman Cancer Institute presents Talks with Docs
When did you know you wanted to be a physician?
To be honest, I'm not sure when I didn't want to be a physician. I think I knew from a very young age. Both my parents are physicians and I think that made a big impression upon me. They're both role models. My grandfather was a physician in India and I think all along it was just part of my fabric, part of who I was, and I never really questioned the decision. I feel like I always knew I wanted to be a physician.
What drew you to specialize in gynecologic oncology?
My pull to gynecologic oncology, to be honest, was a little bit surprising to me. I didn't really know about the field. I didn't know it existed. And I remember as a third-year medical student, I did my rotation in gynecologic oncology, and my first day I was hooked. I just knew right away, this is exactly what I wanted to do. The patients are incredibly inspiring and I really enjoyed the longitudinal aspect of how gynecologic oncologists treat patients, from the surgery to the systemic therapy, and the amazing bonds that we are able to have the privilege of forming with these patients.
How has the treatment of gynecologic oncology changed since your training days?
The field of gynecologic oncology and oncology in general, has changed in astonishing ways since I was early in my training. If I think back to when I was even a medical student, and how we treated patients, the tools that we had, it's almost unimaginable. It's probably one of the most exciting parts of my job. From the ways patients have surgery and how much faster they can recover and undergo treatments with less side effects. There are so many more options now than what we had, not only from the beginning of my career, but even five years ago.
What do you enjoy about the administrative side of your work?
In my position, I'm privileged to do a lot of different things, and I love my job here at Huntsman Cancer Institute. I'm able to take care of one patient at a time, which is how I was trained and what's so important. But many times, when we're treating patients along the spectrum, we see other issues that they may encounter that are more about our health care system. And so very early on in my career, I wanted to be able to help impact patients more than one at a time, but also to help impact and improve the lives of all of our patients. And so that's what really drove me to understand our healthcare system and then work towards improving every single facet of how patients interact with a very complicated healthcare system.
What are you up to on your days off?
On my days off, I like to do a lot of things. At work, I'm not a stranger to hard work, and I really enjoy it. But I do think it's really important to achieve balance in life. So, when I'm not here, I like to do all things outdoors. Regardless of the season you'll find me on the trails either hiking or running. I love to ski. I love to spend time with my family.
What do you look forward to about the future at Huntsman Cancer Institute?
Huntsman Cancer Institute has an incredibly bright future. Compared to many other cancer centers in the U.S., Huntsman Cancer Institute is actually a very young cancer center. But we have amazing resources, we have amazing sponsorship from our donors, and from our foundation, we have an amazing university, that we are a part of, the University of Utah. And so, when you look at all these pieces, and you see our trajectory, where we're going, the talent that we have, the growth, not just at Huntsman Cancer Institute, but also our university, we have a very, very bright future. And if you combine that with the extraordinary progress we've seen in science and research, I feel like the future is very bright. And I can't even imagine what cancer care is going to look like over the next 50 years. It's going to be very exciting.