Head and Neck Surgeon: Dr. Bert O’Malley Jr.

– We’re not here just to perform the most current state of the art therapy. We’re here to help discover
the therapy for tomorrow. I’m Dr. Bert O’Malley, I’m Professor and Chair of Penn ENT. A surgeon and leader by
the name of Michael DeBakey recruited my father and
his team from Vanderbilt to build a science program
at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. I had the opportunity
because of the connection in Houston, in the Texas Medical Center, to watch various leaders
perform their operations and take care of their patients, throughout the course of my high school and college training. And I was totally enamored
by surgery itself, by the innovation and creativity, and I felt I wanted to pursue medicine, and I wanted to be a surgeon. My main focus here at
Penn is head and neck, and skull-based tumor surgery. Tumors include both benign tumors and those that are cancer. TORS is short for Transoral
Oral Robotic Surgery, and that’s a procedure
invented by Dr. Greg Weinstein and myself, and members of our team at the University of Pennsylvania. So we’ve been able to expand the approach to avoid major destructive incisions and minimize the impact on our patients. What I do believe is the
nature of precision medicine, both myself personally,
our multidisciplinary team, and our Nopens. A very big fan of precision medicine. Individual characteristics of
a person or patient’s tumor or cancer may lead us to
choosing different therapies or introducing new novel targeted therapy. So I believe in that. But also, we take it a step further. We want personalized medicine. We feel personalized medicine
means also taking account the whole person and their family and support structure in
helping make a decision. The best part of my job is
taking care of patients. Probably one of the most
rewarding parts of that is being able to feel their gratitude. When a patient who goes through
a terrible tumor surgery and cancer surgery and
overcomes that adversity, to see the smile on their
faces when you give them a great report on their
exam and their MRI. That’s what helps us wake up
every day and get motivated to continue doing this. (music playing)

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