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|Whitney S. Graybill, M.D. |
MUSC assistant professor
Graybill is board-certified in both gynecology and oncology, which means she can care for her patients throughout the entire treatment process. Currently, the only two female specialists in the state are Graybill and her partner at MUSC, Jennifer Young Pierce, M.D.
Graybill, whose father was a physician, said she knew early on she also wanted to be in medicine. She had a mentor who was a gynecologic oncologist at East Tennessee State University's Quillen College of Medicine who led her to fall in love with the field.
“We really specialize in taking care of women with gynecological cancers. We deliver all their care. We’re there for initial visit and diagnosis. We perform the surgery and do follow-up chemotherapy and follow our patients throughout the whole process.”
This is important because gynecological malignancies are different from other malignancies. There are studies that show that in the hands of a general surgeon or obstetrician-gynecologist, only about 70 percent of patients with early-stage, high risk disease received chemotherapy, she said, but with gynecologic oncologists, more than 90 percent of those patients received recommended treatment. Some physicians without subspecialty training may not appreciate the risk of recurrence and failure in this aggressive cancer.
“We know that women who are referred to gynecologic oncologists have better outcomes. They survive longer and receive better care. We’re trained to take care of these malignancies and are up to date on the latest and most progressive treatments for our patients.”
Though Graybill loves the medical and surgical part of her profession, the main draw is how her specialty allows her to have continuity of care with her patients.
“The patients are amazing – that’s what makes this field. The bond that you develop with these women when you take care of them from the time of their diagnoses through their treatment and through their long-term follow up is very unique to what we do and very special. We have a bond with our patients that’s hard to find elsewhere.”