I am an internist who specializes in treating pain and other symptoms related to cancer. I also oversee MSKCC's new Palliative Care Unit. Patients with symptoms that compromise their quality of life or who are in need of acute pain management are admitted to the PCU. After diagnosing the causes of patients' pain, I direct their treatment, which can include pain medications, radiation therapy, invasive interventions, and psychosocial support. I focus on pain symptom management and palliative care issues both while patients are receiving treatment in the hospital and after they are discharged home. I also assist patients in locating healthcare resources available in their own communities. These include home care, nursing help, 24-hour supportive care programs, and hospice services, if appropriate, as well as chaplaincy services, psychiatric follow-up care, and counseling services for the patients and their families.
My research focuses on pharmacological pain management, including research on methadone and bone pain (for which I received a Fellows' Scholarship at the 18th Annual Breast Cancer Conference), palliative care and pain symptom management (for which I received a Jack and Susan Rudin Scholarship). I have served as a co-investigator in a number of research studies at MSKCC, including: “Topical Morphine and Lidocaine for Pain Associated with Chemotherapy-Induced Mucositis,” “Prospective Study of the Impact of Pain Management on the Prevalence of Depressed and Anxious Mood and Will to Live in a Population of Patients with Cancer Pain,” and “Study of Celecoxib versus Placebo in the Management of Arthralgia and Myalgia in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients on Paclitaxel.” Currently, I am the principal investigator of the study, “Phase I/II Study of D-Methadone in Patients with Chronic Cancer Pain.” I am also involved in a number of other research projects.