Every day, Cynthia Wei, MD, wakes up “feeling grateful and excited to take care of people who have been diagnosed with, are undergoing treatment for, or have survived cancer,” she said.
Wei is Chief Fellow in Hematology/Oncology. It’s an amazing specialty, she said, largely due to the pace of new discoveries.
“I am constantly learning about new diagnostics, treatments, and ways to help patients with cancer,” she said.
According to Wei, the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program at IU offers an “unparalleled” clinical training experience and “world-class research opportunities,” largely due to its confluence of experts at the Simon Cancer Center, Eskenazi, University, and the Roudebush VA–all within walking distance of each other.
In particular, “one of the special aspects of Indiana University is the opportunity to be trained and mentored by one of the greatest oncologists of all time – Dr. Lawrence Einhorn,” she said.
Einhorn is similarly impressed with Wei. He praised her track record of great leadership skills, citing her work as chief resident prior to entering the fellowship program and becoming chief fellow.
“Dr. Wei is a gifted and skilled oncologist, and more than that, she has remarkable organizational skills,” he said.
Wei moved to the United States as a child, and grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, and then attended the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. She came to IU for residency after she and her husband, Isamu Tachibana, MD, both matched here in their respective fields–she in internal medicine, he in urology. (He is currently a urologic oncology surgery fellow at IU.)
In their spare time, she and Tachibana enjoy traveling and spending time outdoors, often with their dog along with them.
“We just returned from a trip to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine, and hope to plan our next trip soon,” she said.
So far, Wei said the most valuable thing she has learned during her fellowship is how to provide excellent care to vulnerable populations as part of a strong multidisciplinary team made up of social workers, nurses, dieticians, health techs, and medical assistants.
“This model has been exemplified at the VA Cancer Care Clinics led by Dr. Jordan Schmitt, where IU fellows do their longitudinal continuity clinic,” she said. “Each member of the team plays an important role in taking care of those who are most vulnerable.”
Wei is particularly grateful to her mentors, who include Schmitt, Dr. Nabil Adra, and Dr. Shadia Jalal, who she says exemplify not only how to be an excellent oncologist and researcher, but how to be a good human, too.
“They are loved by their patients, and always go above and beyond for everyone they meet,” she said. “I hope to grow up to be like them one day!”