texas oncology more breakthroughs. more victories
Some of our cancer centers are experiencing issues.  View More Important Notifications x
Request an Appointment

Dr. Elizabeth Bowhay-Carnes Joins Texas Oncology–San Antonio Medical Center

December 17, 2021

Elizabeth Bowhay-Carnes, M.D., hematologist and medical oncologist, is now seeing patients at Texas Oncology–San Antonio Medical Center. Dr. Bowhay-Carnes shares her perspective on patient care and advice for fellow physicians.

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

Listen to the patient! It can sometimes be tempting to focus on test results, but these do not tell the full story. Your patient will tell their own story. I listen to the patient's words, but also try to understand everything that is not being said in the exam room. It is important to me to understand the patient's values and goals, get to know their loved ones, and then determine how to make a personalized treatment plan that incorporates all of these important elements.

I continue to be in awe of the resiliency of the human spirit, as the courageous cancer journey also includes moments of reflection, deep connection with loved ones, and beautiful hope that suffering can and will end."

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

It’s important to remember that not all parts of the fight against cancer are done in the public arena. This courageous journey includes moments of fear, frustration, loneliness, and anger that patients may or may not share with others. Despite these challenges, I continue to be in awe of the resiliency of the human spirit, as the courageous cancer journey also includes moments of reflection, deep connection with loved ones, and beautiful hope that suffering can and will end.

What are you most looking forward to as cancer treatment continues to evolve?

As cancer treatments continue to evolve, I am most looking forward to more cures with fewer side effects. We have already made tremendous strides in the treatment of some types of cancer. Many types of cancer are no longer treated with "old fashioned" chemotherapy, but instead with medications that directly target the abnormal cells. However, there is still much work to be done. I remain motivated to show up each day and do my part to help each patient through their journey.

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

Memorizing facts from a textbook is only a very small part of the journey of becoming a physician. Start by volunteering or working in the medical field. It is important to get as much exposure as possible to different roles people play in the healthcare team. There is no job that is too small. Each role is an important part of patient care.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I try to spend as much time outdoors as possible with my spouse and two daughters. Our favorite activities include exploring hiking trails in the Hill Country, visiting local parks, or just playing ball in the yard.


For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.