Academic Medical Center Oncologist Changes

Portal Forums Cancer Treatments / Symptom Management Patient Experiences Academic Medical Center Oncologist Changes

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Dr West Dr West 3 years, 4 months ago.

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July 11, 2014 at 6:51 am  #1264882    

mikem

I know that it is highly recommended that if possible to go to an academic medical center for treatments, etc. I want to pose a question though. I have been seen for the past not quite four years at an academic facility and am now being changed to a third oncologist. It gets to be pretty annoying that you get used to somebody and they leave. Is this a common practice because these doctors are just starting out on their own after medical school? Don’t get me wrong this center has done very well by me but they just changed doctors again and I don’t really have a choice in the matter if I continue there.

Since I am only being seen for 6 month follow-ups because I have been NED for almost 4 years, would it be reasonable to have my PCP do the follow-ups after this upcoming one? Sorry if this seems trivial but I would prefer some stability if possible. thanks –mikem


56 year old former smoker diagnosed w/Stage IV NSCLC Adenocarcinoma 10/20/09 Completed 6 carbo/alimta followed by 10 Alimta maintenance. Biopsy of iliac negative for metastatic disease. Might not have been a stage IV after all. Oct. 2010, on to surgery…. removed lung. All lymph nodes clear 11-17-10. July 2014 Still all clear. One more 6 month check and if all is good annual only.

July 11, 2014 at 7:50 am  #1264885    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

I’m sorry Mikem you’re losing another oncologist. I can imagine the frustration and isn’t at all trivial. I don’t know the answer. I wonder if you have a choice of someone who appears to have found a home at the center you’re seen in. Another option would be to move to a community center where the docs may tend to be more settled in their careers. D’s onc has been with his private practice for over 20 years and hopefully isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I imagine D would be devastated to lose him.

Janine

July 11, 2014 at 10:19 pm  #1264900    
Dr West
Dr West

As a private practice oncologist, I certainly have a bias, though I worked for years in an academic setting. Academic centers tend to have more specialists, but there are many extremely good and often very knowledgeable oncologists in private practice, and yes, the turnover tends to be lower than in an academic setting (though there are some established docs who may spend their entire careers in one place — it’s just less common than in private practice).

As far out as four years, it would be reasonable to have your PCP do annual scans and just refer you to an oncologist if there are concerning changes, but many PCPs are very reluctant to undertake even remote long term follow-up surveillance of cancer patients, so it’s really up to your PCP, but it’s unusual.

-Dr. West

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