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Welcome Dr. Stacey C. Muhammad to Texas Oncology-Deke Slayton Cancer Center and the Woodlands

November 01, 2022

Stacey C. Muhammad, M.D. is a physician specializing in palliative medicine and is now seeing patients at Texas Oncology–Deke Slayton Cancer Center and The Woodlands. Dr. Muhammad explains her holistic approach to patient care and a hobby her family picked up during the pandemic that they still enjoy doing together.

What inspired you to specialize in hospice and palliative medicine?

I have always felt a calling to the field of hospice and palliative medicine. I started my career as a family medicine physician with my own practice and eventually began to do some moonlighting work with a local hospice agency in Houston. I really enjoyed being able to help improve patients’ quality of life who were dealing with chronic or terminal diseases. As I continued to work with more hospice agencies, I decided to become board certified in hospice and palliative medicine in addition to my family medicine board certification. I have now been in the field for more than 15 years, working as a palliative medicine consultant for the majority of that time. I have truly enjoyed being able to establish great relationships with my patients and their families while navigating an uncertain time.

What has been a defining moment in your medical career to date?

Since my medical training is in family medicine, treating the whole patient has always been very important to me. When I decided to specialize in palliative medicine, I realized I could use this same philosophy not only to help cancer patients with their symptoms, but also their overall health. The COVID-19 pandemic taught me how to effectively communicate and have tough conversations with patients and their families about their advance care planning. I was able to help them figure out what was most important to them, taking into account their goals, values, and beliefs.

What has working in cancer care taught you about the resiliency of cancer patients?

I have had the opportunity to care for many cancer patients as they underwent treatment. Most of these patients often requested to continue aggressive treatment regardless of the potential side effects. Since working in cancer care, I have learned that a patient’s resiliency can directly influence their outcome. This “fighting” spirit my patients have encompassed may not have prevented them from receiving a poor prognosis, but it certainly allowed them to live a longer, higher quality of life with their loved ones.

What are you regularly tuning into right now (e.g., podcast, show, music, book, etc.)? 

I love watching movies. During the pandemic, we were so limited in what we could do and where we could go that it was safer and easier to just stay at home and stream a variety of movies. My husband and I renovated our media room so that our family could spend more quality time together while at home. I also love reading books and watching documentaries focused on the history of America and other countries worldwide.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy spending your time doing?

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two sons, as well as our two fur babies, a cat and a dog. They make our family complete.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I am a native Houstonian and a very proud one at that. I grew up in Northeast Houston and attended school in Houston Independent School District (HISD). I was also my high school valedictorian and played on our basketball team where I was heavily recruited to play on a collegiate level.

What was your first job before pursuing a career in medicine?

My first job was as a cashier at my neighborhood grocery store. It taught me how to work quickly and efficiently, as well as build strong customer service skills by helping a variety of customers who came to shop.

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