Dr. Travis Thompson is a native Texan, an honors graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, and was the chief resident in Radiation Oncology at the world renowned Johns Hopkins University. He is board certified in Radiation Oncology and won a Top Doc of Radiation Oncology award in 2007 and 2008.
Dr. Thompson has expertise in Stereotactic radio-surgery, CyberKnife© robotic surgical technology, and GammaKnife©. He is published in prestigious journals including Urology, Clinical Oncology, and Radiation Research. He lives in Corpus Christi with his family.
Interview with Dr Travis Thompson
1. Why did you choose this Profession?
Like most American families, ours was affected by cancer when I was very young. Three of my grandparents we lost to cancer, and I was inspired by the kindness shown to them by their doctors. So I knew that I wanted to help patients with cancer from a young age, but was unsure how I wanted to do it. As a medical student at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, I became interested in radiation therapy. I was fascinated by the technological advances the field was, and is, undergoing. Treatments have become more effective and less toxic due to these advances. It is a lot of fun to work with this continually improving technology, and it is very rewarding to have the ability to help patients and their families fight cancer.
2. What is your Training and Medical Background?
After getting my M.D. at UTMB--Galveston, I was lucky enough to able to do my training in Radiation Oncology at one of the best hospitals in the world, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, MD from 2000-2004. I went on to take the written and oral examinations for ABR Board Certification in Radiation Oncology, and passed them on the first try in 2005.
3. How does Precision Cancer Center compare to other world famous institutions? How does it differ?
The mission of Precision Cancer Center has been to provide a Radiation Oncology center in Corpus Christi that uses the same equipment found at world-class cancer centers. But just because you have a fast car, doesn't mean you can win the Daytona 500. Equally important, if not more so, is the expertise of the person using the equipment. My goal is to provide world-class radiation therapy here at Precision Cancer Center. But we don't stop there. We strive to provide "white glove service" to each of our patients.
We do owe a great debt to the large university cancer centers in our country because it is there that the research and training takes place that allows us to do what we do here. But if I was a doctor practicing at a large cancer research center, I would have to divide my time equally between cancer research, educating younger doctors, and patient care. The beauty of a place like ours is that we can dedicate all of our time and effort to providing exceptional patient care. As Director of Radiation Oncology, I am personally involved with every aspect of the treatment. I don't have to use residents or physician assistants to do most of the work and just supervise them. Working in a place completely dedicated to patient care allows me to have the time to ensure that the treatment is being delivered as safely and effectively as possible.
4. It has often been said that you spend a lot of time with each of your patients. Why do you feel that is important?
I strongly believe that a patient's mental approach to fighting their disease is very important. Therefore, it is not enough for a doctor to simply make wise clinical decisions and be skilled at their craft. A good doctor must also be attentive and answer all of the patient's questions. The more a patient understands their disease and the reason for treatment, the more likely they are to do well.
5. Your profession is demanding with a lot of responsibility...what do you do in your free time?
Free time? I'm not sure what you mean by "free time." No seriously, my wife, Shelley, and I have two young boys. So it almost goes without saying that the vast majority of my time outside the office is spent with my wife and sons. But whenever we can get away, I do love to snow ski. We also like to go listen to live music. I have a pretty good-sized record collection and I like to browse in record stores. Occasionally, I find time to play my piano at home.