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Introducing Palliative Medicine Physician Stephanie Yuko Terauchi to Texas Imaging and Infusion Center

September 15, 2023

Stephanie Yuko Terauchi, M.D., FAAHPM, palliative medicine physician , is now seeing patients at Texas Imaging and Infusion Center. Dr. Terauchi shares what working with cancer patients has taught her about the human spirit and one thing people don’t know about her.

Did you always know you wanted to be a doctor, specifically specializing in palliative medicine?

I have always been fascinated by the human body and medicine and decided my path was to be a doctor in the seventh grade. However, it was not until my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer that I was introduced to palliative medicine through hospice. I saw this as a very noble profession and became interested in the specialty.

In residency, I had the opportunity to experience palliative medicine. I learned more about the field and its benefits and felt my true calling and passion. Palliative medicine restores patients’ quality of life, bringing the opportunity for them to live in the moment earlier in a serious illness. It is a rewarding field that has brought so many wonderful people into my life. I could not imagine doing anything else.

What has working with cancer patients taught you about resiliency of the human spirit?

Cancer patients have courage beyond what we can imagine and live life boldly on their own terms. They experience such a broad variety of emotions on their journey and despite that, always find a path through. When life knocks you down, you get back up. That is the true meaning of resilience.

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

Being a palliative medicine physician has taught me what is most important in life: family, friends, and experiences. We have so many distractions that take away from life’s precious moments, and if you miss them, they are gone. Life is enriched by the people around you and your memories. Take the time to create them with the people you love!

What do you like to do in your free time?

My free time is often spent with family and friends. I appreciate good food, good wine, and good company. A music lover and avid concert goer, I enjoy outings to the symphony and musicals. I also like to watch gameshows, reality tv, and comedies. I love traveling and cannot wait to go on a Mediterranean cruise next year.

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

I started playing piano when I was in second grade and took lessons throughout college. I played for church services, the church choir, high school choir, voice student practice sessions, and many weddings. I am currently teaching my eight-year-old the joys of music. Music is my greatest escape and the universal language that binds us all together.

What book(s) are you currently reading?

I am getting my master’s in business administration (MBA), so many of the books I am reading are for my degree. I have found many of them to be enjoyable and enlightening, especially those about leadership. I hope through reading them I can refine my leadership skills and serve people better.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I have evolved into a morning person as I have grown older. I enjoy the quietness and peace of the morning, along with a hot cup of coffee.  Morning is a fresh start to each new day, and each new day is an opportunity for something good.

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