Lois Ramondetta, M.D. is an Associate Professor of Gynecologic Oncology at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, as well as Associate Professor and Director, Division of Gynecologic Oncology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She has written and spoken extensively on the topic of spirituality and health; most recently focusing on the topic of cancer survivorship and spirituality.
What motivated you to enter medicine as a career?
Initially, I was intrigued by the workings of the human body. Later I was intrigued by the workings of the human mind in the face of life stress. I have wanted to help people in their time of need. Recognizing the tremendous impact of a physician's words or lack of words on the anguish of a patient continues to motivate me to be present and attentive.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
Recognizing what is in my control and what is not. Helping people to also recognize what is in their control and what is not - deciding between further treatment and quality of life.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Helping people to get the best treatment possible, helping them to have peace of mind about their decisions…and meeting wonderful people who share their wisdom and give me strength through their strength in touch situations.
How does spirituality inform your practice of medicine?
Spirituality to me is about a relationship beyond the banalities of life that occurs in the face of terminal illness or cancer. It helps me to reach that level of meaningful interaction that is imperative for good decision making, informed decision making, peace of mind, and existential growth.
What spiritual and/or religious resources do you find most personally helpful?
Many of the different religious traditions influence my thinking. Again, however, it is more for me about recognizing what gives life meaning for any individual that I meet.
Are there particular spiritual/religious topics you personally wrestle with?
I like to think about what happens after we pass but I know that one can never know the answer except through perhaps one’s faith…however…I like to focus on the value of life as we are living it today.
What would you like cancer patients and their families to know about M. D. Anderson Cancer Center?
Everyone here tries to help cancer patients in the best way they know how. Sometimes, we don't always know exactly what you need without you asking ….please always ask if you have concerns or questions!