Healthy You - Every Day

10 Questions With Hematologist Oncologist Brian Patson, MD

A daily, tailored yoga routine helps Dr. Patson focus on fully supporting and empowering patients

Brian Patson, MD

Recently rejoining Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute, hematologist oncologist Brian Patson, MD, practiced at Lehigh Valley Health Network from 2012 to 2022. It was his experiences with patients that urged him to return to his passion of clinical practice after a year of teaching. Today, he emphasizes the importance of a close relationship with patients as they navigate the complexities of cancer diagnosis and treatment. “I strive to foster a collaborative partnership where patients feel heard, respected and actively involved in their care,” he says.  

Dr. Patson will be practicing at Lehigh Valley Hospital­­−Cedar Crest and Lehigh Valley Hospital−Hazleton. Read more to find out how he prepares himself for his day, his compassionate approach to care and ways in which he contributes to reshaping the future of cancer treatment. 

What inspired you to get into medicine?

My journey began during college, sparked by friends and professors who nudged me toward the field due to my ability to grasp developmental biology and cellular histology. I enjoyed explaining complex concepts to peers and serving as a tutor, which fostered a passion for sharing knowledge. However, it was working directly with patients that truly ignited my calling. Witnessing the profound impact of long-term relationships formed in health care settings, I realized the immense privilege and responsibility of being a clinician.

What’s one thing you hope patients take away from their time with you?

A sense of empowerment. As a medical oncologist, I understand the immense weight and complexity of navigating a cancer diagnosis and treatment journey. My goal is to ensure that every patient leaves our interactions feeling informed, supported and empowered to make decisions that align with their values and preferences. 

What is the best part of your job?

It undoubtedly revolves around the people I have the privilege of interacting with daily. From forming deep connections with my patients and accompanying them through the highs and lows of their health care journey to collaborating with a dynamic and compassionate team, the human aspect of my work is truly enriching. 

What is one the most rewarding things you do?

Enhancing access to clinical trials. Clinical trials represent a vital pipeline for advancing medical care, with breakthroughs continually reshaping the landscape of treatment options. I am driven by the prospect of contributing to the progression of medical knowledge and improving outcomes for patients facing challenging health conditions. By encouraging and facilitating patient participation in clinical trials, I aim to play a pivotal role in propelling the field forward, helping to establish new standards of care and maintaining hope for the future.

How do you fit in time for exercise or self-care?

This is a perpetual challenge, yet I’ve made it a priority.  Each morning, I begin with a tailored yoga routine that emphasizes deep stretching, complemented by meditation to prepare my mind for the day ahead. I also enjoy outdoor activities such as running through the park and playing tennis. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

One of my joys revolves around cooking and baking. I take great pleasure in preparing traditional dishes that celebrate my family’s Eastern European heritage, like pierogi and golumpki. The kitchen serves as a creative outlet and a source of connection, enriching my life with delicious food and cherished memories shared with close friends and family.

If you have a pet, what kind is it and what’s his/her name?

I have two Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Oliver and Simon. They are always so happy to see me when I get home from work with boundless excitement. Their presence has a remarkable ability to dissolve any worries or stresses, filling each moment with warmth and contentment. 

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?

“We must be the change you wish to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Are you a coffee or tea person?

Historically, I was a devout coffee drinker, but I have been drawn to the nuanced flavors of green tea. I still enjoy a good cup of black coffee but drinking green tea has become equally satisfying while adding alternatives to my daily routine.

What is your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving. It marks the official beginning of the end-of-the-year holiday season, and I love the traditional foods that are shared.

Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute

Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute

Leading Edge Cancer Care, Close to Home

Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, which provides patients with even more lifesaving care options, and holds numerous national patient safety and excellence designations.

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