With over 20 years of experience as a busy general thoracic surgeon I am referred patients with cancers in the chest and other difficult problems involving all the organs of the chest that are not from cancer. One of the things that attracted me to the field is the long-term relationship with my patients. I tell all my patients that Im their doctor for life. I see patients for many many years. Back in 2000 when we had a 26-inch snow here -- it was a Tuesday -- on my clinic day everyone said no one would come to clinic. But I actually had 23 or 24 patients show up in four-wheel drives. Its not that Im such a fabulous doctor that they came to see me. Its that they are cancer patients and this was their annual visit or their follow up. It was important to them. So we were here for them and they came. I enjoy seeing my patients back 12 13 14 years later and learning what theyve been up to and what their families have been up to. Thats a bond you get in oncology that a lot of other fields dont have that treat patients then turn them back over to their primary care physicians. We as a team follow people and I like that.
Dr. David Harpole Jr, MD is a thoracic surgery doctor who practices in Durham, NC. He is 59 years old and has been practicing for 33 years. Dr. Harpole Jr is affiliated with Duke University Hospital.