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Introducing Dr. Keely Voytovich to Texas Colon & Rectal Specialists-Plano Preston Legacy

October 27, 2023

Keely Voytovich, M.D., colon and rectal surgeon, is now seeing patients at Texas Colon & Rectal Specialists—Plano Preston Legacy. Dr. Voytovich reflects on when she knew she wanted to be a surgeon and the one historical figure she’d like to have dinner with. 

Did you always know you wanted to be a doctor, specifically a surgeon?

I knew I wanted to be a surgeon since kindergarten. In elementary school, I used to bring home leftover squid and fetal shark specimens from the science lab so that I could dissect them on the kitchen table! 

I have been fortunate to train with many gifted surgeons who showed me that a surgeon’s role is not limited to technical expertise and experience. It also affords an opportunity to support patients with complex illnesses, working carefully and deliberately to improve their quality of life. I have developed a profound appreciation for the grace and fortitude my mentors and colleagues have shown when taking ownership of their choices and fighting for their patients — all the while teaching others the techniques of their trade.

What do you wish more people knew about when it comes to colorectal cancer?

The assumption that colon and rectal cancers plague only older adults is false — they are impartial to age. When my patients share their reservations regarding colonoscopies, I tell them that the worst part is the bowel prep the day prior to the procedure. Regular colonoscopies can detect and remove precancerous polyps, which may help avoid a bigger surgery that is sometimes required for advanced tumors.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your career so far?

Compassion is important. Patients, whether in the hospital or in the office, are in a vulnerable position. A listening ear and a thoughtful care plan go a long way. I have been privileged to work with surgeons who exhibit these standards, impressing upon me the importance of kindness mixed with clinical acumen.

What is one place you haven’t visited yet that you hope to someday?

Watching the great migration across the Okavango Delta in Botswana is at the top of my bucket list.

What’s the best volunteer experience you had and what did you do?

While in high school, I traveled with my church to Seine Bight Village in Placencia, Belize to host Vacation Bible School for elementary and middle school students. This was one of my first opportunities to travel internationally and experience life from a different perspective. Over the course of three years, I was able to see the children grow and change in amazing ways.

What do you do personally to recharge and take care of yourself?

When I need to recharge, I spend time with my family and friends. I am always planning trips to see new places or visit old friends. I am also an avid reader and passionate OU football fan — Boomer Sooner!

If you could have dinner with one historical figure, who would it be and why?

I would love to sit down with Julia Child. I’m impressed by the way she made the daunting French cuisine easily accessible and reproducible for the American public. She was a pioneer for not only the world of food, but also food on TV. I’m sure she could give me a few pointers on how to cook a tasty meal.

For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.