Meet Thoracic Surgeon Robert Downey


Thoracic surgeon Robert Downey talks about the quality of the multidisciplinary care at Memorial Sloan Kettering and the experience of following patients for years after helping to cure them.


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What a wonderful Dr, and more than that, a wonderful person. My wife Jane is still here in great part, as a result of his abilities. Thanks again Doc !

Dr.Downey not only saved my life but also gave me my life back.Dr Downey is not only a friend to many of his patients,but also our hero.Dr.Downey has a true gift for making you feel like your his only concern.Sloan is very blessed to have him on staff.

I am so lucky to be treated by Dr. Downey. He is such a great doctor!

Anybody who goes to Sloan Kettering to treat their mesothelioma has made a wise choice. I am an attorney who helps people with mesothelioma and have such great respect for this institution

Hello. My name is Sergey Martsenyuk. I am a future doctor from Ukraine. I very much want to continue to learn and work for you ... but do not have large financial opportunities. If you can tell me how to act.
Ukrainian Cure finished university. Now I am on a residency in Kiev. I would be grateful for your reply.

I met Dr. Downey after I was diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer. After two rounds of chemo therapy and radiation treatments, my tumor shrunk enough where Dr. Downey felt comfortable to perform a left phneumonectomy in 1997.

Eighteen years and two grandchildren later I am still around, thanks to Dr. Downey, Dr. Orsini and Dr. Devereau and their staff.
Funny, I recall Dr. downey looking alot younger.

You can't find a better surgeon, in my opinion.

Dear Edward, thank you for taking the time to write those kind words. We’re glad to know you’re doing well!

Thank you, Dr. Downey and MSKCC for all you have done for me. Sucks having lung cancer especially when you don't smoke but such is life. I am very fortunate to have been treated by the best doctor at the best hospital in the world. My prayers and support to all of you.

It is just over fifteen years ago that I was treated at MSKCC for non small cell lung cancer late stage 3 or early stage 4. I believe by the grace of God and by having the most brilliant, Dr. David Kelson I had a most positive outcome against cancer. Because of the success of Dr. Kelsons treatment, I was a possible candidate for surgery. I will always remember that I had been inoperable and my anticipation waiting to meet Dr.Downey for his opinion. He gave me such hope and support and I will always remember the day and my first meeting with him. He is the most wonderful, gifted surgeon He is a warm, kind and caring person---I truly cannot begin to express the gratitude I have for him and the extra care and kindness I feel he has always given. I thank Dr. Kelson, Dr. Rosenzweig, my radiologist and Dr. Downey as they are absolutely the dream team. I know I am alive today because of each of them. I feel truly blessed to have made it 15 years and to be here today as a single mother for my son, who was a five your old at diagnosis, and is now a senior in college. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart! Thank you MSKCC!

Linda, thank you very much for sharing your inspiring story. We are glad to know that you were well-cared for by your “dream team”! Wishing you and your son all our best.

Dr. Downey: It's been 3 years since lung surgery and I feel great. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done for me. See you at my next check up! May God always bless you!

Dear Marcelo, we are glad to know that you are feeling well. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your experience on our blog!

Today I was telling a co-worker about my Mom and Dr. Downey. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1995. Being her only child, I was desperate to find a good Dr and made an appointment at Sloan Kettering. Dr. Downey was so compassionate and caring towards my Mom. The cancer had spread to her neck bones. Dr. Downey wanted her to have radiation to see if the tumor could shrink enough for him to operate. Unfortunately, while it did in fact shrink, he determined with conference of several other Drs. that she would not fair well with an operation. This was not what we wanted to hear. I was a mess. The next day he called me to see how I was! He also wanted me to read an article that he came across a few days prior and thought that I could use the wisdom written in the article. The article explained how a patient usually feels a sense of calm when they realize that the cancer can not be cured BUT the people who love them are the ones that have the hardest time. It was hard to read but it was the truth. My Mom had also asked about how long she would have and Dr. Downy refused to say, adding, "would it make a difference in your life to know and we could not say since Drs. are not God." This was very true as well. My Mom refused chemo and lived 2 more quality years with the last 3 being the toughest. When she died I called Dr. Downy and to let him know she passed. I know he was a busy Dr but I wanted to thank him as well. He informed me that now he could tell me that the Dr. guestimate for my Mom's cancer, location and other factors would put her at least 3 months to live. This is not a happy ending story. However, to this day I speak of Dr Downy and I do so with gratitude and know that without a doubt he did the very best that he could for my Mom. He helped her make the best decision and helped me trust her decision. Thank you Dr. Downy for being the caring, kind, compassionate person you are. Know that you made a difference in my life.

Dear Meg, we are sorry for the loss of your mother. Thank you for sharing your story. We will forward your comment to Dr. Downey. Best wishes to you.

Dr.Downey takes care of my husband who, as a physician-researcher himself, is difficult to impress and not easily convinced.
Upon meeting Dr. Downey and listening to him, he knew immediately he’d found a clinician who loves his work, knows his field in great breadth and cares deeply about patient care. We are indebted to him for his care and interest and always enjoy seeing him.

Dear Mindy, we’re glad to hear your husband has felt well cared for by Dr. Downey. We will forward your note to him. Thank you for your comment, and best wishes to you and your husband.