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Get to Know Our Newest Pediatric Oncologist: Dr. Erika Lopez-Bertiery

June 03, 2020

We’re proud to welcome pediatric oncologist, Erika Lopez-Bertiery, M.D., to Texas Oncology–Medical City Dallas Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. We sat down with Dr. Lopez-Bertiery to learn more about her career inspirations and proudest achievements.

What inspired you to specialize in cancer care?

Without a doubt, the parents of children with cancer. These families are made of something special, and they have so much to teach us. Of course, I'm fascinated by all the scientific aspects of my career, but the hook for me was clearly the parents of these patients.

In your opinion, what is the single most important breakthrough in cancer research to-date, and how have you seen it change the course of treatment?

Some of the most important advancements are personalized medicine and revolutionary trials on immunotherapy, vaccines, and Chimeric Antigen Receptor – T cell (CAR-T) Therapy. It’s hard to envision a better time to practice and take care of patients with cancer. It is empowering for both the provider and patient to have choices beyond the standard of care or the traditional lines of treatment.

What makes me most proud are the relationships I create with my patients and their families. Becoming a part of the very special journey these families go through is a privilege beyond anything one could imagine.”

What are you most proud of when you reflect on your medical career to date?

I attended public school in Bogotá, Colombia, from elementary to medical school. About 15,000 people apply to medical school at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, but only the best 150 scores on the admission test get accepted. I must confess even after 25 years, that fact makes me incredibly proud. I’m also proud of my years spent researching pediatric HIV.

But above that all, what makes me most proud are the relationships I create with my patients and their families. Becoming a part of the very special journey these families go through is a privilege beyond anything one could imagine.

Where is your favorite place you’ve ever visited?

The summit of Mount Kilimanjaro completely took my breath away (literally). When you put all your heart, effort, training, and preparation to visit a place and then you get there – arriving with the sunrise – even if just for a few minutes, your heart could not be happier, more satisfied, or any closer to a higher presence.


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