SGO President: Diversity of Oncology Practitioners ‘Allows Us to Address Barriers to Better Health Outcomes’ for Patients

S. Diane Yamada, MD, president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO), discusses how SGO shapes and guides the direction of medical researchers and health care professionals in the gynecologic oncology field.

Pharmacy Times interviewed S. Diane Yamada, MD, 53rd president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO), Joseph Bolivar DeLee professor of obstetrics and gynecology, the chief of the section of gynecologic oncology at the University of Chicago, and inaugural gynecologic oncology fellowship director, on how SGO shapes and guides the direction of medical researchers and health care professionals in the gynecologic oncology field.

S. Diane Yamada: We have a little over 2500 members in the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, and it is really a multidisciplinary group. There are gynecologic oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, geneticists, pharmacists, advanced practice providers—all who are members of our society. They all contribute in numerous ways to the advancement of the field.

Certainly, many of our members are doing the cutting-edge research, both at the bench scientifically as well as translational research, as well as the novel clinical trials that are leading to registration and identification of novel therapies that are impacting our patient care. So, I really see us shaping and guiding the direction of the field in terms of not only scientific advancements and the development and production of clinical trials, but also improving the health care experience for patients and really being the providers who can advance trust and communication amongst our patients that really allow us to take care of our patients in a better fashion.

The diversity of the group, of practitioners that we have, and health care team members that we have, I think, also really helps us tremendously. We come at it from different perspectives, different areas of geography, different practice settings, and that allows us to be able to address what some of the barriers are to better health outcomes for our patients. And then I think, certainly with differentiation of our health care teams, and the experience of our members in certain aspects of administration, we have health care leaders in the field that our chief medical officers and cancer center directors can also help to drive the direction of the field in terms of policy and identification of areas of need and network development.

So, I think on many different levels, whether it's the scientific level, the ability to roll out novel therapies for patients, the ability to care for our patients and in a sensitive and compassionate way through palliative care or through our administrative efforts, we’re impacting the health care of our patients.