Scripps Clinic Oncologist Sonia Ali, MD

SONIA ALI: The most rewarding
part of my job is seeing a patient go through treatment,
complete treatment, and then look back and reflect on all
that they’ve gone through and realize how strong they are. To be part of Scripps it means that you will be cared
for by a group of highly trained, specialized, collegial doctors, nurses, support staff. We really specialize in various tumor types.
So you’re not going to meet with an oncologist who treats all
different types of tumors. You’re going to meet
with an oncologist who’s really focused on a specific
tumor type. So my practice focuses on
breast cancer and gynecologic malignancies.
So that’s cancer of the ovaries and endometrium.
It’s all about personalized medicine now so it’s all about
testing the tumor tissue for cancer gene expression
and mutations and really tailoring treatment to target
those mutations to ensure that we’re maximizing efficacy
but not over-treating patients and minimizing toxicity
where possible. Patients can expect
to feel comfortable. I know that they’re coming in
with all sorts of anxieties and I want to make that connection
with them. Let them know that they can
trust me and we’re going to have a long-term relationship together,
so that’s really important to me. From a personal standpoint
I know what it’s like to be a family member of a
cancer patient, and I know how stressful
that is. So in patient visits I always
try to include family members and make sure they understand
what’s going on as well and address any concerns that
they have. I love my job.
I really do. I’m so lucky to be able
to continue with a passion that has been created over the years.
And I do wake up every morning excited to go in to care
for these patients. I develop strong bonds with my
patients and I want them to succeed. I want them
to achieve a cure. And when I go home at night and
a patient had a good scan result or their labs came back
and looked great, that makes me feel happy.
And that doesn’t always happen. So on the flip side if patients
are receiving discouraging results,
if I am able to help them through that and feel like I’ve
done a good job and help them understand the information
that also makes me feel good at the end of the day.

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