Ronald Walker, MD, is a surgeon who specializes in head and neck cancers. He removes both malignant and benign tumors from the head and neck, including thyroid tumors and parathyroid neoplasms (abnormal masses). He performs microvascular reconstruction to allow for maximum functional outcomes after what can sometimes be an aggressive and life-changing surgery.
Dr. Walker was always fascinated by the science behind his work. He has been involved in clinical research especially in the areas of oral cavity cancer and intraoperative margin assessment (focusing on the border of tissue around cancer removed in surgery).
But, he says, “In college, I ultimately decided that I enjoyed working with people, and I have always been drawn to cancer patients.” As he has gained experience in the field, he continually refined his techniques to provide his patients with the best outcomes. “The approaches that I use have been increasingly less invasive and provide for better long-term functional outcomes, as well as better restoration or enhancement of physical appearance,” he says.
“I get inspired fairly easily, and watching patients who go through such a life-changing diagnosis push through treatment and adjust to a new way of life is incredibly inspiring,” Dr. Walker says.
In fact, he often finds that one of the most important things he can do for patients is to provide encouragement and hope. One of his greatest rewards is to treat them, and then watch them recover and return to a normal life. “The whole process is very rewarding to be a part of,” he says.
Smilow Cancer Hospital