UC approach to cancer by Dr. Bill Barrett

Our be all and end all is that patients receive superb care. That sentiment trumps every other priority. The patient satisfaction surveys confirm that patients perceive that their care here is excellent. We have an extremely professional working environment here. It is paramount that every individual working in this building treat each other with complete respect at all times. As we focus on superb patient care and professional behavior, everything else takes care of itself. Patient volume, revenue, clinical research and education all thrive.

We have a particular opportunity and obligation to our community. We need to stand out as the example premier, showcase level of care to be emulated by others. Our competition is not other facilities and people delivering cancer care in this community.  Our Competition is the disease cancer and we support anything and anyone who lessens the suffering and mortality associated with this dread disease. At the Barrett Center we are a resource for the community and we raise the level of cancer care throughout this community. We are available for recommendations, second opinions, reassurance and superb care, particularly for patients with complicated problems. If a patient receives great care at another facility, that’s wonderful. If we somehow contributed to that care through a recommendation of by the behavior of one of our former trainees, all the better.

We are in a particularly important positions. We have subspecialty and multidisciplinary care not available anywhere but an academic medical center and we are part of the community as opposed to an out of town center of excellence. We have vested interest in the optimal outcome of every patient that we see. We have to be technically excellent. A patient that comes here with curable disease has to be cured, with as little toxicity as possible. When patients have incurable disease, the circumstances around their final days are extremely important to them obviously and also to their families. We want to allow patients to maintain dignity and comfort and the circumstances surrounding patients’ final days will be indelibly etched in the memories of their family members. Our consistent attitude of being helpful, available, kind and compassionate will be of tremendous benefit to every patient we see as well as to their family members.

We have incredible potential with this cancer center. We can be the best in the world. That may or may not be reflected by national surveys, research funding or clinical volume but no matter how large or small we appear, we can provide as expert care as can be accomplished anywhere with more genuine interest, commitment and compassion than exists in other centers.

Working here is not just a job for any of us. It is a higher calling where we consider every single patient our friend and relative and we want the best for them and their families. The ultimate in human experience occurs here many times every day – making the difference between someone having or not having more good years of life with their family and providing patients and their families comfort and dignity at the most important time of their lives.

William L. Barrett MD