Q&A with radiation oncologist Dr. David Marcus
Ryan Summerlin August 25, 2014
Dr. David Marcus is the newest member of the oncology team at Valley View’s Calaway-Young Cancer Center, joining Drs. Douglas Rovira, Bruce Greene and Armando Armas as the fourth oncologist at the center this September. He grew up in Dallas and attended medical school at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, where he also did his residency. Dr. Marcus is married with a 2-year-old daughter and an 8-month old son, living in Carbondale.
Where are you originally from?
I grew up in Dallas, Texas. I have been visiting the Roaring Fork Valley since I was a child, and I have always dreamed of settling down here with my family.
Why did you decide to become a radiation oncologist?
I was diagnosed with testicular cancer as a second-year medical student, and I was told at that time that I would need four weeks of radiation therapy. When it came time to decide on a specialty, my personal experience drove the decision to pursue radiation oncology. Interestingly, as a resident at Emory, I treated patients on the same table and with the same equipment that was used for my treatment.
Why did you choose to come here?
Having come to the Roaring Fork Valley frequently as a child, I always dreamed of living here. When I was approaching the end of my residency, my father sent me an article from the Aspen Business Journal announcing the new Calaway-Young Cancer Center. After reading the article, I contacted Dr. Bruce Greene to express my interest in joining the team. Now, two years later, my childhood dream has become a reality. It’s hard to fully express how fortunate I feel to live here and to take care of patients in the Roaring Fork Valley.
What do you do for fun?
I grew up skiing in Aspen, and I still love to ski. I exercise regularly and also love to hike, cook and play guitar.
Where is the joy in medicine?
The joy is in seeing patients get better. It is an incredible privilege to be a part of a patient’s journey to recovery.
What does patient centered care mean to you?
It means that patients always come first! Taking care of patients is the reason that we are all here.
What are your patients’ most common questions?
Some of the most common questions have to do with the side effects of radiation treatment. Fortunately, over the past few decades, there have been incredible developments in the delivery of radiation therapy. We now have the capability to administer high doses of radiation to a target while minimizing the radiation dose to adjacent organs and structures. By using these technologies, we are able to deliver meaningful treatments while mitigating the side effects of radiation therapy.
What is your philosophy around after hours care?
My patients are my patients, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What do patients say about you?
Among other things, I work hard to make my patients feel that I am a good listener. As a physician, it’s important for me to understand each patient’s specific questions and concerns. Listening is one of the most important skills that a physician can have.
If you could sing a karaoke song, what would it be?
As a first-year medical student, I participated in a medical trip to Mumbai, India, and one night we went to a karaoke bar. I selected “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, and it was a disaster. If I could go back in time and choose another song, I would choose literally ANY OTHER SONG.
What is your favorite Coloradough?
I haven’t been to sweet Coloradough yet, but my favorite meal in the valley is a chicken burrito at Dos Gringos in Carbondale. Delicious!