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Doctor Without Borders

Local oncologist travels the world to help others

Publication: Rowlett Lakeshore Times

Dr. Tobenna Nwizu with Texas Oncology–Rowlett was drawn to the field of medicine as a child with a calling to help others. He was an assistant professor at the Cleveland Clinic – specializing in head, neck and thyroid malignancies – is published in many peer review journals and book chapters, and has served as principal investigator in clinical trials. 

Why did you decide to go into the field of medicine? Why oncology?

Growing up as a child, I loved interacting with people, sharing in their lives and helping make it better. So naturally when it came to choosing a career, I chose medicine. During medical school my mother was diagnosed with cancer. My experience being on the other side of the table, experiencing the joys of the wins and the bitterness of the losses, informed my decision to go into oncology – to help other people down that path, having been down it myself.

What brought you from Nigeria to the United States?

I wanted to be a part of leading-edge medicine.

What brought you from Chicago to North Texas?

The cold. I love both cities. Chicago will always have a soft spot in my heart, but DFW is now home for me. I love this city and all that is has to offer. I was also looking to be part of an organization that was committed to excellent patient care and leading-edge medicine. Texas Oncology has more than surpassed my expectation.

What is your favorite aspect of medicine?

I love the interactions with patients. I also love the problem-solving to figure out the diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan, and then watch the transformation as the patient improves and gets better. Oncology is a special part of medicine, as we have a special bond with our patients. We share in their lives, dreams and aspirations. We help them achieve these things.

Where was the first trip you took on a medical mission?

My very first medical mission trip was to Oaxaca, Mexico, with my church in Chicago. We were in a remote village where they had no access to medical care. It was surprising how the people there were so happy with so little and didn’t have a care in the world. But the lack of access to basic medical care was very saddening.

What have you learned from your medical mission trips?

To be grateful for the little things in life. The world is bigger than us. There are people out there who are suffering, with real needs.

What do you enjoy doing with your free time?

I am a foodie, so I enjoy checking out new restaurants. I love people, so I like hosting get-togethers. I love traveling and exploring other countries and cultures. I’m a snowboarding fan as well, which is pretty much the only thing about winter I like. 

Read the full story from the Rowlett Lakeshore Times.

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