Good luck Becca!
The world is going to gain a wonderful new Doctor, but that means we will be saying goodbye to one of our Peer Navigators, Becca Burns. Becca has been a part of the AYA program since the clinic opened in January 2013 and has assisted dozens of patients while also playing a vital role in the development of our Peer Navigation program. Becca recently sat down to tell us what she likes best about medicine, the clinic and some of the lessons she’s learned during her tenure with the program:
AYA Team: Becca, we are truly going to miss you! Can you explain why you are leaving?
Becca: I am leaving to go to medical school in Chicago- something that I’ve wanted to do since I was 12! I’ve learned so much during my time in the clinic and the program has really highlighted the importance of the patient’s experience and the impact of medical care on each patient’s day to day life. I will definitely remember my patients and their experiences as I am studying during med school!
AYA Team: What lessons will you take with you?
Becca: This certainly sounds cliché, but when you are working with such dedicated people it really inspires you to continually improve what you are doing. You never think “what I’m doing is good enough” because you watch your coworkers solve a problem using a solution you hadn’t thought of or present research on a cancer that you didn’t know much about. Similarly, it is really powerful for me to see that Dr. Parsons, Dr. Linendoll and Dr. Barthel have their own unique approaches to patient care. It has encouraged me to think beyond medical school, to imagine how I’m going to work with patients one day.
AYA Team: What is your biggest take away regarding AYA oncology?
Becca: Clinic has shown me that medical treatment has a long-lasting impact. I think that the common narrative surrounding cancer is that once your treatment stops you are done with cancer. This is understandable – cancer therapy is grueling and I think that it is natural to want to celebrate the end of treatment with your loved one, to be able to give patients and their families’ good news. I don’t think anyone wants to focus on the potential long-term complications, the emotional impact. But working in Clinic has shown me that ignoring these issues does a disservice to patients. It is difficult to acknowledge that the medical therapy that you are prescribing could have a long-lasting impact but working with AYA oncology survivors has shown me that it is better to acknowledge this.
AYA Team: What will you miss the most?
Becca: All of the people, of course! I will miss working with the fantastic staff members in the Clinic and I will miss hearing about all of the exciting things that our patients are doing.
Please join us in wishing Becca well in all her future endeavors!
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