Christina S. Baik, MD, MPH
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Lung cancer, head and neck cancers, Thoracic oncology
I believe the best cancer treatment decisions stem from actively collaborating with you and your family and understanding your values and priorities.”
When did you know you wanted to be an oncologist?
In high school, I was very interested in sciences and also very drawn to community service. I felt that becoming a doctor was a perfect way to combine these interests. During my residency, I felt an especially close connection with the cancer patients I met. Many had a perspective of life that enriched and challenged me, both as a physician and as a person. I also believe in the importance of extending care to the community by better understanding cancer risk factors and developing prevention strategies for those at risk. This is part of my work as an oncologist too.
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
My clinical research focuses on developing effective targeted therapies for people with oncogene-driven lung cancer. I’m also interested in understanding the mechanisms of primary and secondary resistance to immunotherapy, or why immunotherapy doesn’t work for everyone. In my lifetime, I hope that we’ll be able to detect more lung cancers in the early curable stages and that metastatic lung cancer will become manageable so people can live long and productive lives even with the disease.
While a diagnosis of head and neck cancer can be devastating news for patients and their families, I’ve witnessed that the news can bring out the best in many people. This is one reason I decided to take care of people with cancer. It’s a very rewarding way to commit my time and energy.
How do you approach cancer treatment?
My personal motto is to live a life of grace and generosity. I try to bring this into all of my work. Treatment is a process, and I feel very privileged when my patients and their families allow me to see some of the most intimate details of their lives as we take each step in that process. I enjoy being an educator, not only to other physicians and trainees, but also with you and your family throughout your care.
University of Puget Sound
University of Rochester School of Medicine
Brown Medical School, General Internal Medicine
Tufts Medical Center, Hematology-Oncology
Oncology, 2009, American Board of Internal Medicine
MPH, Harvard School of Public Health; Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center