Focus On Faculty With Thomas Herzog, MD

herzog outsideThomas Herzog, MD, who recently began as clinical director of the UC Cancer Institute and a professor in the division of gynecologic oncology, is a Cincinnati native who graduated from the UC College of Medicine in 1986 and then completed his residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati in 1990 and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, in 1993. Following his training, he became a faculty member at Washington University and then director of the gynecologic oncology fellowship program until 2004, when he made the move to Columbia to serve as director of the division of gynecologic oncology as well as director of the gynecologic fellowships at Columbia and Cornell Universities.

What made you decide to return to UC and Cincinnati?
“Everyone says that people always come back to Cincinnati, and I wasn’t sure that was going to be the case with me after 25 years. However, after staying in touch with colleagues and by monitoring progress through news reports, I heard about the significant changes occurring in cancer care at UC. While there have been periods of progress in the past, there has not been the sustained progress we’ve witnessed recently. These substantial strides made in the past five years have built a firm foundation for the cancer institute’s future success in elevating the care of patients on our campus and beyond as well as gaining National Cancer Institute designation, which is the embodiment of excellence in cancer research and care.”

As clinical director of the UC Cancer Institute, what will your duties entail?
“I am here to serve as a catalyst to improve cancer care for our entire community, and I specifically want to make the patient experience at UC a great one while enabling members and leadership within the centers of excellence of the UC Cancer Institute to realize their outstanding potential.”

What are your goals for the institute over the next year? What are some of your focuses?
“I want to optimize the patient’s experience at the UC Medical Center, increase efficiencies and opportunities in clinical trial enrollment, expand basic science and translational cancer research and connect the needs of the patient and their community providers with the outstanding expertise available at the UC Cancer Institute.”

What would NCI designation mean for the institute, UC and the region as a whole?
“NCI designation would be transformative for UC and the entire Cincinnati region. We want patients to be completely confident that consultation at our cancer center will provide the very best care available in the world today, in addition to having access to the most innovative technologies and newest therapeutic agents via clinical trials. NCI designation will help the entire region by implementation of cancer prevention and screening programs and will allow UC to recruit the very best clinicians and researchers internationally.”

Tell us a little bit about yourself – what do you like to do in your spare time?
“I love sports, particularly tennis and basketball, although I haven’t played tennis in many years. I’m a huge Reds and Cardinals baseball fan, which I guess classifies me as conflicted, but it also makes it easy to pick a default color for a baseball game—red.”

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