This year, in an informal “fireside chat” format, two Bay area physicians will speak about the national best-seller, When Breath Becomes Air, and the questions the memoir raises about oncology and end-of-life care.
Lucy Kalanithi, MD, is the widow of the late Paul Kalanithi, MD, author of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling memoir, for which she wrote the epilogue. The book centers on Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s diagnosis and his subsequent treatment of Stage IV lung cancer.
Dr. Lucy Kalanithi is an internal medicine physician and faculty member at the Stanford School of Medicine. She completed her medical degree at Yale University, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society. Her residency was at the University of California-San Francisco and she was a postdoctoral fellow in health care delivery innovation at Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center. At the cross-section of her career as a medical professional and her personal experience standing alongside her husband during his life, diagnosis, treatment and death, Dr. Kalanithi has special interests in health care value, meaning in medicine, patient-centered care and end-of-life care. She has appeared on PBS NewsHour, NPR Morning Edition and Yahoo News with Katie Couric, and been interviewed for People, NPR and The New York Times. She lives in the San Francisco area with her daughter, Elizabeth Acadia.
Dr. Kalanithi will be joined by Heather Wakelee, MD, an oncologist at Stanford, who was the treating physician for Dr. Paul Kalanithi. The two physicians will reflect on Paul’s introspective journey, which provides insight into the life and death questions faced by oncology patients and those who care for them.
Dr. Wakelee is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Oncology at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and is the faculty director of the Stanford Cancer Clinical Trials Office. She has authored or co-authored more than 150 medical articles on lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies and is involved in dozens of clinical trials related to lung cancer therapy and diagnostics. Dr. Wakelee is active in multiple national and international organizations involved in lung cancer research, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), co-chair of thoracic committee and Stanford Principal Investigator for the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG-ACRIN), and as a member of multiple committees of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
Registration for the 2017 Annual Meeting opens May 18. The meeting takes place September 24-27 at the San Diego Convention Center.
In the comments, tell us if you’ve read When Breath Becomes Air. If so, what questions would you pose to Drs. Kalanithi and Wakelee at the Annual Meeting?