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Get to Know Our Newest Palliative Medicine Physician, Dr. Navin Dhingra

July 09, 2021

Navin Dhingra, M.D., palliative medicine physician, is now seeing patients at Texas Oncology–Austin Midtown Radiation Oncology and South Austin. Dr. Dhingra discusses how palliative medicine and the future of supportive cancer care inspires him.

What inspired you to specialize in palliative medicine?

I had great mentors throughout my education. When I was completing my internal medicine residency, my program director introduced me to the field of palliative medicine. After practicing internal medicine for a couple of years, I wanted to help address the large gap in the healthcare system with respect to the seriously ill patients and felt my natural skills made palliative medicine a good fit.

During my fellowship, I fell in love with supportive cancer care. There is an immediate reward in helping to improve someone's quality of life by addressing their distressing symptoms. It has been a rewarding journey and there is still a lot of good work to be done.

Integrating good palliative medicine earlier in the treatment process can help patients maintain their quality of life, better tolerate their treatments, and lead to better outcomes."

What do you want more people to know or understand about palliative medicine?

A common misconception about palliative medicine is that people mainly associate it with hospice. Hospice is certainly part of it; however, over the last several years there have been considerable advances in palliative medicine as a science.

Integrating good palliative medicine earlier in the treatment process can help patients maintain their quality of life, better tolerate their treatments, and lead to better outcomes. In the future, I believe our ability to tailor regimens to patients based on their unique needs has the potential to help people live longer, fuller lives.

Who inspires you?

I'm inspired by pioneers, innovators, and the many people who have helped me along the way. I think that is also what inspires me with palliative medicine – there is a lot of opportunity to improve and develop how we take care of the seriously ill patients. I'm also inspired by the selflessness of my parents, and countless teachers and mentors.


For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.