For Sepsie

While I love all animals, I’m known for being partial to cats. This wasn’t always the case – in fact, prior to having a cat, I really never understood their appeal. I questioned the redeeming value of owning something so aloof and independent. Dogs, with their unconditional love and constant want to please, were my … Continue reading For Sepsie

How changing sides made this oncologist a happier person…

I’ve moved to the other side. But the thing is, it’s not so dark where I stand.   During my residency in medical oncology, amidst the strain of learning my craft, seeing countless appointments, and studying for board exams, I centered myself by meditating on where I would wind up working when I finished. It … Continue reading How changing sides made this oncologist a happier person…

I’m an imposter?

What are the “things” you use to define yourself? Do you best identify with your familial status (mother, husband, daughter?) Or do you describe yourself by your talents (musician, artist, writer?) What is it that matters most when it comes to saying who you are?   I happen to classify myself most consistently with the … Continue reading I’m an imposter?

Snake Oil or Cure All? How Can We Tell The Difference?

Have you ever heard of snake oil? It's an expression generally reserved for unproven remedies for various ailments or maladies, but is also often used to describe any product with questionable or unverifiable benefit. Chinese workers, building the First Transcontinental Railroad in the mid-19th century, used snake oil to treat the painful inflammatory joint conditions … Continue reading Snake Oil or Cure All? How Can We Tell The Difference?

Why does my vet take my dog to the back?

You’ve arrived for your appointment with your veterinarian and you’re nervous as to how the visit will go. Your dog started vomiting last night, and is unusually quiet at home. You know he needs to be seen by a doctor, but are worried about his anxiety level as he isn’t a huge fan of visiting … Continue reading Why does my vet take my dog to the back?

Do the clothes make the doctor?

Veterinary medicine is a dirty job. I’m not talking about unethical behaviors or illicit activities. I’m speaking in a very literal sense, referencing the countless pungent, projectile bodily eliminations, oozing wounds, parasite-infested hair coats, and traumatic injuries we encounter on a daily basis. All of our patients are adorable, but many of them have hygiene … Continue reading Do the clothes make the doctor?

Have you heard about the cancer sniffing dogs?

A curious headline popped up along my Twitter feed the other day: “Could Dogs Sniff Out Thyroid Cancer?” I read the words and paused a few seconds, contemplating taking the bait before opening the link. Convinced I would be disappointed in what I was about to read, I contemplated how a dog could be able … Continue reading Have you heard about the cancer sniffing dogs?

You spin me right round baby, right round?

Medicine is full of peculiar terminology; the language spoken by doctors is unfamiliar to non-medically trained individuals. Even those of us entrenched in the healthcare field become bogged down by confusing acronyms, four and five syllable words, and bizarre pronunciations. Earlier this week I found myself contemplating an example of “curious medical lingo”. While standing … Continue reading You spin me right round baby, right round?

If you were diagnosed with cancer, to whom would you entrust your care?

The obvious answer is: an oncologist. Most people understand an oncologist’s expertise in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of various cancers. Regardless of the expertise of the initial physician suspecting this dreaded disease, once cancer is on the radar the average person would be referred to, and actively seek consultation with, an oncologist. Unfortunately, cancer … Continue reading If you were diagnosed with cancer, to whom would you entrust your care?

I went from nothin’ to somethin’… Well – Sort Of!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Here's an excerpt: The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many … Continue reading I went from nothin’ to somethin’… Well – Sort Of!

I'm an assistant professor of medical oncology at North Carolina State University and Certified Veterinary Journalist. I'm here to share information about veterinary oncology and dispel myths about cancer care for pets!