Susmitha Vaka, MD
Dr. Susmitha Vaka is excited by her work as a medical oncologist. She appreciates how the field is advancing and how treatments have become more and more effective. She is also inspired by the connection to her patients, helping them understand and sort through the expanding options to choose one that works well for all their needs.
“When I meet new oncology patients, I start by understanding what they feel and what they know—about the disease, the stages of cancer, the prognosis, and treatments,” says Dr. Vaka. Together they review the different treatment options and her recommendation.
“There’s a lot of information, so if it isn’t an urgent situation, I encourage them to go home and think about it, and talk about it with their families,” she says. “We continue to discuss the options and confirm a decision, whether it’s over the phone, by e-mail, or of course in person.”
Dr. Vaka received her medical degree from Guntur Medical College in Guntur, India. She was an intern and resident at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Westwood, Kansas, where she also was a fellow of breast oncology and of hematology and oncology. She treats all types of oncology and hematology patients, and focuses on breast cancer and gastrointestinal malignancies.
Dr. Vaka appreciates how Group Health is so well coordinated around patient care. “It is so easy to send a question with the patient’s chart to a specialist like a cardiologist. They get back quickly with a trusted answer, since they can review the patient’s details right away.” Specialists are also easily available by phone in an emergent situation, she says.
“Group Health is a good system,” says Dr. Vaka, “with their policies and whole approach to making the patient needs come first.”
When she’s not working, Dr. Vaka enjoys being with her two young daughters as well as cooking and traveling.
Patient Care Philosophy
“My goal as a physician is to provide advanced care for my patients. I believe that it is essential to educate my patients and involve them in developing a treatment plan with their goals and values in mind.”
American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine
MD, Guntur Medical College, Guntur, India, 2002
- Internship and residency, Internal Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., 2005-08
- Fellowship, Hematology/Medical Oncology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., 2008-09
- Fellowship, Breast Oncology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., 2009-11
- American Society of Hematology
- American Society of Clinical Oncology
Contact information: (253) 596-3390