Markey oncologist hopes to treat every patient like a friend
For this week's Making the Rounds conversation, we spoke to Dr. Aman Chauhan. Dr. Chauhan is a neuroendocrine tumor specialist who joined the medical oncology team at the UK Markey Cancer Center in 2018. He cares for patients who have carcinoid tumors, high-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas, and small and non-small cell lung cancer.
What inspired you to pursue medicine?
I’m the first doctor in my family, so I can’t say anyone forced me to get into medicine. I think it was my calling. My dad is a botanist, and I used to spend time in his lab. In high school, I gravitated more toward human biology and that led me toward a career in medicine.
Why did you decide to study oncology?
After finishing my training in India, I came to the United States in 2011 and did a combined internal medicine and pediatrics training at LSU – New Orleans. During my residency, I really liked treating and interacting with cancer patients. During the latter half of my residency, I developed a fondness for neuroendocrine tumor patients, partly because a lot of my mentors were leading a big neuroendocrine tumor program at LSU. When it came time to pursue a fellowship for super-specialization, they recommended me to come to Kentucky to get trained under Dr. Lowell Anthony.
Describe your patient care philosophy.
I try to treat every patient as if he or she is my friend or family member. I would not do anything that I would not do to my friends and family. It’s very important to develop a trust, a relationship with your patients. One thing very unique to neuroendocrine patients is it’s a chronic, slow-growing disease in most patients. We get to follow these patients not for months but years. I’ve had some patients going for four or five years. I really enjoy talking to them and understanding their day-to-day challenges and trying to simplify them. I try to be optimistic and try to find new cures and new treatments for them.
What do you like doing in your free time?
I like to travel at least once a month someplace in the United States. I plan to explore beyond the U.S. in the coming years.
I also like to cook. I think cooking is very peaceful, and I don't mind experimenting.
I'm not a good dancer, but I like the idea of dancing so I take part in a few dance classes here and there.
Watch our interview with Dr. Chauhan to learn more about why he finds treating patients at Markey so rewarding.