Spent the morning at the National Cancer Institute, which really is a pretty amazing place, with a pretty amazing guy – Dr. Rafael Beltran. He’s one of the many incredible people I’ve met here – that truly make the world a better place through their work. I could have spent all day with him, seeing patients, surgery, discussing his cases and research – (Heck – I’d love to work with him!) but unfortunately, I had to race across town after several hours for another interview..
I really like this picture here, I think it highlights one of the important aspects of surgery – the surgical team.. As you can see above, Dr. Beltran (left) certainly doesn’t work in isolation – and that’s his philosophy about cancer care – the surgeons from different specialties work together closely, along with oncologists, radiologists, hematologists, therapists and other specialties to give well-coordinated, and well-rounded care. While I was the operating room, I stood next to a shy young woman.. After I badgered her for a little bit – she told me her story. She’s a respiratory therapist – and she was watching the surgery, so she would better understand how to take care of her lung surgery patients – and to understand exactly what they had been through. Not often do surgeons find room in their ORs for respiratory therapists – but Dr. Beltran understands that by having this young woman here observing – she learned more today than she could ever glean from books.. By doing so – he’s integrated her into the surgical team, and that’s important when often today’s medicine is an exercise in fractured and fragmented care.
In the operating rooms all around us – the same thing was occurring, with orthopedics, plastic surgery, neurosurgery.. As you can tell – on all my visits to the National Cancer Center, I’ve been very impressed with the physician commitment and the level of care.
As I raced off – I received a text that the doctor I was next scheduled to meet had to go to another hospital – he offered to meet me there, but he had an emergency, so I thought it best to reschedule for when he had more time. I’m really looking forward to talking to him – so I didn’t want him to be too distracted.. I get the best interviews when we can just sit down and talk..
Then – a thoracic surgeon we’ve talked about before – texted me that he had 2 interesting cases – did I want to go? So I spent he remainder of the afternoon talking with Dr. Juan Carlos Garzon, thoracic surgeon. I’m glad I did – because I had lots of questions from our previous interviews, and between cases, he spent the time to answer my lingering questions; about his practice, about thoracic surgery in general, and about Colombian medicine so it was definitely a worthwhile trip..