Future physician is cancer survivor
Mayo Medical School student experiences Mayo's integrated care firsthand
Lindsay Morgenstern, a second-year Mayo Medical School student, takes her future role as a physician and caregiver personally. "I look forward to the day when I can...treat cancer patients and support them and their families. Because I know," she says.
A cancer survivor
At age 17, Morgenstern was diagnosed with three types of ovarian cancer. While still a high school student, she underwent surgery and chemotherapy. "I can tell [future patients] 'I know what it is like to lose your hair. It will grow back, and you will appreciate it more,'" she says.
"Mayo always had the answer"
Throughout Morgenstern's battle with cancer, her physicians in Minneapolis-St. Paul consulted with specialists at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "I noticed that whenever other doctors needed help, they called Mayo Clinic. It did not escape my notice that Mayo always had the answer," she observes.
With her cancer in remission, Morgenstern trained as an emergency medical technician and phlebotomist, and she became the first person in her family to attend college. Later, she decided to apply to medical school. "One of my college professors suggested Mayo Medical School. My interest in Mayo had already been piqued, and the smaller class size sealed the deal."
Education and medical care converge
When she got the call that she was accepted at Mayo Medical School, Morgenstern jumped up and down and screamed.
Shortly after making Mayo her new home, Morgenstern noticed the return of some familiar symptoms. She scheduled an appointment with physicians in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mayo Clinic right away. One of Morgenstern's tumors is known to continue growing benignly, and in 2011 Mayo surgeons needed to remove five new masses. "I had groundbreaking laparoscopic surgery from an incredibly talented surgeon."
Mayo's integrated approach provides comfort
Since no one could know for sure before the surgery if the new tumors were benign or cancerous, Morgenstern's Mayo Clinic care team included Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialists who discussed fertility preservation. "When I had my first surgery and chemotherapy at 17, none of my physicians mentioned the need to protect my reproductive health, which isn't necessarily something you think about at that age but is important to consider," says Morgenstern. "At Mayo Clinic, it was automatic that it was considered and discussed as part of my integrated care."
Planning for the future
Morgenstern has found more than exemplary care and a promising career at Mayo. "I met an incredible man who took care of me in my time of need, whose family has rallied around me and who my parents love almost as much as I do," shares Morgenstern. Paul Warner, the groom-to-be, is a fourth-year Mayo Medical School student, and the two are engaged to be married in September 2012.
"There is nowhere I'd rather be treated or practice medicine"
Morgenstern knows that her cancer could return at any time, but she trusts that she is in good hands at Mayo Clinic. "I've seen what Mayo has to offer, and there is nowhere I'd rather be treated or practice medicine. I'm at the place I always heard about, learning to be the best doctor I can be...I am Mayo's biggest fan."