COMMENTARY

New Column: Notes From an Aspiring Oncologist-Investigator

Ravi B. Parikh, MD, MPP

Disclosures

November 07, 2018

I'm Ravi Parikh, MD, MPP, fellow in hematology and oncology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. I'm starting a new column on Medscape where I will be bringing you thoughts on learning and practicing oncology as a trainee.

In some ways, we'll be going on this journey together. As an oncologist-in-training, I am wrapping my head around aspects of oncology in which many of you are experts. This column may mention common oncology topics like immunotherapy side effects, CAR-T, and recently approved antineoplastics. I appreciate any comments or corrections regarding this content, as I am still learning!

While I may touch on these topics, the focus of this column will be the journey of an aspiring oncologist-investigator. I will be asking hard questions that illustrate the dilemmas of practicing oncology. Why do community and academic oncologists practice so differently? Why do oncologists give chemotherapy at the end of life? And what is it about cancer than makes a person put their life on hold to receive treatment?

You should expect to see a lot of narrative in this column. Why? Because as a trainee, stories from patients, mentors, and colleagues shape how I learn oncology. Sometimes I will interview key stakeholders. Sometimes I will put forth a controversial opinion. I hope that you will have time to participate in any debate that comes from these columns in the comment section, as this may help me and others become better oncologists.

My first column is a topic that I am very familiar with: lessons from year 1 of oncology fellowship. I can't wait to start this journey with you all.

Follow Dr Parikh on Twitter @ravi_b_parikh

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