Meet Elizabeth M. Blanchard, MD

Jul 19, 2019

Dr. Blanchard biking in Ireland.

Dr. Blanchard biking in Ireland.

Chief of hematology and oncology at the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care; chair of the ASCO State Affiliate Council; chair of the ABIM ASCO General Oncology Exam Subcommittee; and member of the Clinical Practice Committee (CPC); CPC Physician Compensation Workgroup; CPC Coding, Billing, and Reimbursement Workgroup; and Research Community Forum Resource Development Task Force.

What led you to oncology?

EB: I was looking for a practice that had both long-term relationships with patients and challenges in terms of diagnosing and treating illness. Oncology seemed like an exciting field when I chose it around 2001, but who could have predicted how exciting it would turn out to be!

What’s the last book you read?

EB: I recently finished The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. It is set partly in India, partly in an area of Rhode Island close to where I live. It was a little melancholy, but a good reminder of how important relationships are.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

EB: My favorite thing to do is be a mom: going to my daughters’ lacrosse or hockey games or visiting them at college. I also like biking and traveling. The picture is from a biking trip my husband and I took in Ireland recently.

Do you have a personal motto?

EB: I recently ran a half-marathon that I probably should have done more training for. I got through it by reminding myself to take it “one step and one mile at a time.” It’s also a metaphor for life.

What career could you see yourself in if you weren’t an oncologist?

EB: If I wasn’t in oncology, I’d love to be a journalist or a writer, to interpret and describe the world in words.

What changes do you envision for the field in the next 10 years?

EB: My hope is that cancer becomes a true chronic disease that we can control (or eradicate!) with therapy. I think immune therapy has that potential. I also see a change in the way we care for patients; I’m not sure we will be seeing patients just in a clinic setting like we are now, but rather patients will be increasingly incorporating more virtual care and less hospital-based care.

What would you say to a young physician thinking about entering the field of oncology?

EB: It is a great field if you are looking for a challenging but very fulfilling career where you can have a tremendous impact in someone’s life.


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