Jeffrey Russell Geyer, MD
Admiring selflessness of parents
Dr. Geyer is a pediatrician who specializes in treating children’s cancer, most especially brain tumors. It’s a tough yet rewarding job. It’s not easy when otherwise thriving young bodies are confronted with disease. “But kids are resilient,” he says. “And they come with built-in partners – their parents.”
It’s the parents that Dr. Geyer is most impressed with. “Over the years, I’ve come to admire parents more and more because of their selflessness. It’s extraordinary. I get to see people at their best because they’re called to the task of caring for their children in extremely difficult times. Cancer care is all-consuming. And these parents do extremely well.”
A father of two, Dr. Geyer says he became a pediatrician because he wanted to something with his life that had value and worth. “I wanted to teach as well, and in this role, I am able to do both and find it very satisfying.”
What he is passionate about is clinical research. Most clinical trials for childhood cancers are national, multi-center trials, and are the reason that nearly 85 percent of all cancer in children is cured compared to 20 to 25 percent in the early days.
“But the element of decision making is different for some families in the face of a catastrophic diagnosis,” Dr. Geyer says. Children are always offered the best standard of care for their disease available. The power of the clinical trial is that the results may create an even better standard.
Medicine from the bottom up
Dr. Geyer’s mother was a nurse and as a child, he enjoyed science and thought becoming a doctor would be interesting. But he needed to “find himself,” he says, during college and majored in religion. Once he graduated, he was confronted with what to do next. He found his answers during a cross-country bicycle trip, riding from Minnesota to New Mexico, which gave him a lot of time and miles to think.
“I worked as an orderly in a hospital and a short-order cook while working on my pre-med prerequisites,” Dr. Geyer recalls. “This was medicine from the bottom-up and very helpful to me in my future practice.”
Dr. Geyer attended Wayne State University, did his residency training in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, followed by fellowship training at University of Michigan Medical Center and in pediatric hematology/oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
He worked in private practice as a pediatrician for three years but moved into an oncology practice because he wanted to combine care of complex patients with the continuity that working with children and their parents brings.
“I think of myself most as a teacher or an advisor rather than the decision maker – the person who says: ‘this is what you should do’,” Dr. Geyer says. “I have faith that children (the older ones) and their parents will make the right decisions for themselves, if I give them all the facts.”
When he can, Dr. Geyer enjoys riding his bicycle to work. During his off-hours, he and his wife can often be found in their Volkswagen camper van heading out to hike, bike, and participate in other outdoor activities.
Jeffrey Russell Geyer, MDDr. Geyer treats children who have cancer. He believes that caring for children and adolescents requires an expert team. "The patient and parents are an integral part of that team."
Patient Care Philosophy:
Dr. Geyer's philosophy the care of a child or adolescent requires an expert team. And the patient and parents are an integral part of that team.
- Clinical Director, Pediatric Hematology Oncology Program, Seattle Children's
General pediatric oncology, neuro-oncology
Education And Training
- Wayne State University, 1977
- Residency: Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Michigan, 1977-1980
- Fellowship: University of Michigan Medical Center, 1980-1981;
- Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology, University of Washington.
- Dr. Geyer was recognized as a 2012 "Top Doctor" in Seattle Magazine's 2012 annual survey.