Meet Thoracic Surgeon Smita Sihag

VIDEO | 02:07

Smita Sihag is a thoracic surgeon who specializes in treating people with lung cancer and esophageal cancer. Learn more about how she cares for her patients.

Show transcript

"Hi, how are you?"

"Good. How are you?"

I get to take care of a lot of people and, as a surgeon, make a more immediate impact hopefully in people's lives.

"Is the strength back in your left arm?"

If I can offer a patient a cure, there's nothing more gratifying than that.

My name is Smita Sihag. And I'm an assistant attending surgeon here at MSK. I treat patients mostly with lung cancer and esophageal cancer.

"How you feeling?"

"Very well."

I meet patients right after they've been told that they probably have a lung cancer.

"OK, so nothing comes up at night..."

At that point, when patients are coming in to meet with me, I know that they are very anxious about this potential diagnosis of cancer. My job is really to come up with a strategy for them to try to get them the best outcome that they can have. And hopefully, that's a cure.

Very often, I get the question, why MSK? If you do something every day, all day, every day of the year, then you are bound to be better at it.

"Hey, Christina, can we get this patient scheduled for a PET scan later today?"


Really the mission of MSK is centered around advancing the care of cancer and taking care of cancer patients.

"OK, left side."

And so that makes us much more focused and dedicated and able to provide the latest cutting edge care, to these patients.

"And are you doing some resistance training as well?"

I really hope that people walk through this door and can literally feel the MSK difference.

"...then we can go ahead with his biopsy."

And our focus on making sure that they not only get the best chance at a cure --

"All right."

"It was great seeing you."

"Really good to see you."

but also get supported, just as a human being going through what they're going through.