For this week’s Making the Rounds, we caught up with Erin Burke, MD, a board-certified surgical oncologist who treats breast cancer patients as well as patients with soft tissue sarcoma and cutaneous malignancies such as melanoma. We chatted with Dr. Burke about what led her to pursue a career in medicine and what drives her patient care.
What drew you to a career in medicine?
When I was a little kid, science was really what interested me. I would be the little kid watching Mr. Wizard instead of doing all the other things the other kids were doing, and that just carried through. Medicine was a way for me to marry science with a job that I thought I could love and would help people.
What types of patients do you treat in your clinic?
A lot of our breast patients come to us from a screening mammogram, so they're getting their preventative care, and there's a finding on the mammogram.
We have a huge range that we see with regards to disease severity, everything from something that's completely manageable and curable to things that are treatable, but maybe not curable, to things that might not even be treatable, other than treating symptoms and making that person comfortable.
What drives your patient care?
What drives all of my care is focusing on what that patient's goals are. Sometimes we lose the battle, but I think overall, we're helping people each day in the best way that we can, and I get to do that as my job.
Watch our full interview with Dr. Erin Burke.