Director’s Corner: Care means more than medicine: Serving the Survivor

Samir N. Khleif, MD Samir N. Khleif, MD
Director, GRU Cancer Center

“The good physician treats the disease. The great physician treats the patient who has the disease.”– Sir William Osler

How do we define the care we provide? What is, as a Cancer Center, our responsibility in terms of treatment? While the answer may seem easy, that we are charged with managing care and welfare through every step of the patient’s experience at the Cancer Center, the reality is deeper and much more significant.

The people we see and treat are not just patients while at the Cancer Center. They are our patients for the rest of their lives.

Treating cancer is not about treating a disease. It’s about treating a patient. And while the medical aspect is certainly a primary piece of our purpose, it’s important to remember that addressing a patient’s health also means addressing their well-being. Cancer affects people. It affects the ways they approach their life both during and after treatment. For us to offer them a hearty handshake and farewell at the door when treatment is complete is tantamount to doing half a job. Our responsibility lasts much longer. We treat patients, but we also, quite happily, are increasingly called on to help survivors find their footing in a post-treatment world.

Written by
Allison Brown
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Written by Allison Brown

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