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Texas Oncology–Mesquite and Innovative Clinical Trial Center Welcome Dr. Pamela Hoof

November 09, 2020

Pamela Hoof, M.D., hematologist and medical oncologist, is now seeing patients at Texas Oncology–Mesquite and Innovative Clinical Trial Center at Texas Oncology–Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center. She shares the inspiration behind her career and why she’s excited about the future of cancer care.

What inspired you to specialize in cancer care?

It was the combination of my scientific curiosity, empathy, and appreciation of the human spirit that first led me to medicine. However, my interest in oncology was piqued by my family’s unfortunate history of pancreatic cancer affecting multiple generations of my father’s side of the family. I pursued a career in oncology not only to help patients experiencing cancer, but also participate in vital research.

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?

The immunotherapies and targeted therapies that have come about over the last few years have revolutionized cancer care. We are still learning how to harness the power of the immune system in the fight against cancer. It is exciting that in my lifetime, we will be able to design treatment plans based on molecular targets and biological indicators. We have clinical trials ongoing in this area at the Innovative Clinical Trials Center.

Do you have any family members in the medical field?

My mother is a retired ICU nurse. She has always been the epitome of grace, compassion, dedication, and sacrifice for her patients and family. She never ceases to have a smile even on the most difficult days. I can’t tell you how often she stayed late at the hospital with patients who had no family so they would have support. My mother has inspired me in both my approach to patients and in my outlook on life. If I can make someone smile or feel supported, it’s the best part of my day.

The resiliency of the human spirit is embodied by the fact that despite the struggles our patients face, they never stop enjoying life.”

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

The resiliency of the human spirit is embodied by the fact that despite the struggles our patients face, they never stop enjoying life. The perseverance and courage displayed by patients is awe inspiring. One of my first patients shared a quote from the late basketball coach Jim Valvano that is a testament to this: “Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.”

What advice would you give someone who is aspiring to be a doctor?

I would tell them to always remember that the ultimate goal is providing the best care for your patients. If you always keep that goal in mind, you can never go wrong. Find the area of that you are passionate about and pursue research. Be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge around you from the instructors, patients, and nurses who will offer pearls of information about both medicine and life in general.

For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.