I come from a family of physicians, starting with my paternal grandfather, who practiced medicine in a small town on the Iran-Iraq border. Growing up, I intended to break the family tradition by studying science and becoming a researcher. However, life in a lab proved unsatisfying for me; sometimes it was hard to trace the line between my efforts and finding cures for human disease, and I also missed connecting with people. Medicine, and oncology in particular, blends scientific rigor with the chance to bond with patients and families. Early in my career, it was clear that oncology as a field was poised to undergo a sea change in terms of how cancer was treated. It’s been really exciting to witness the shift from harsh chemotherapy regimens to more personalized therapies with fewer side effects. I find it meaningful to share these advances with my patients and help them maintain the best quality of life possible.
My maternal grandfather was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer when he was 96 years old. His oncologist didn’t want to move forward with treatment because of his age, which really upset my grandfather, who didn’t like the idea of someone telling him to just give up. My grandfather decided to move forward with chemotherapy anyway, and he lived until he was 98. One of his biggest joys in life was his garden, and being able to have two more seasons to grow his heirloom tomatoes was a big deal to him. No matter a person’s particular circumstances, it’s really important to understand what they value in life so you can arrive at a treatment plan together that truly reflects what they want. I believe in maintaining an open dialogue with patients and families where we can talk about any issue that comes up. Starting with the initial appointment, I focus on patient education, sharing as much information as is helpful for making informed decisions. This helps alleviate anxiety and allows us to work together as a team.
Lung cancer, breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers
I am a board-certified medical oncologist and the medical director of oncology at Fred Hutch at UW Medical Center - Northwest. My practice includes treating patients with a variety of cancers; however, my primary area of focus includes cancers of the lung, breast and gastrointestinal system. In addition to providing care, I look for ways to enhance the patient experience from an administrative perspective, such as improving access to clinical trials and lowering barriers to timely tests and treatments.
Our mission is to provide patients with the highest quality, personalized care closer to home. As part of Fred Hutch, our community oncologists offer patients multidisciplinary tumor board opinions, clinical trials and expertise in treating a variety of cancers.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Washington, Internal Medicine
University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Hematology-Oncology
Medical Oncology, 2013; Internal Medicine, 2010, American Board of Internal Medicine
We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch doctors. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.
At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
Fred Hutch accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.