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Dr. Hoffe

Meet Sarah Hoffe, MD

Radiation Oncologist

"I think that the Moffitt team approach is able to empower patients better and quicker than many other places."

Dr. Sarah Hoffe was a second-year medical student when her father called with surprising news. He told her he’d just been diagnosed with a skin cancer on his shoulder. Meeting the doctor and being able to shadow him during her father’s treatment, she recalls being “blown away by the compassion of the physician who treated him.” The experience crystallized the focus of her career in medicine.

Her passion was heightened during an interview for her residency when she was asked a profound question. “And the question was,” she recalls, “How do you deal with failure?” As a radiation oncologist dealing with the reality of some very difficult cancers, Dr. Hoffe grasps the weight of the question. “I don’t look at it as failure,” she says. “Whatever we can do for that person is a very powerful thing for that individual… even if it’s just helping them get from point A to point B. That’s a very profound thing. I don’t think any of us can really underestimate the power of that.”

Dr. Hoffe is driven to effect change. Confessing to a strong creative side, she’s active at Moffitt’s affiliated medical school, the University of South Florida. There, she is part of the faculty teaching the next generation of medical students an intriguing new curriculum concerning the idea of “emotional intelligence,” which seeks to create a higher level of self-awareness and self-management among medical professionals, preparing them to become better healthcare leaders.

She recently received a grant to study the use of mobile virtual reality in the clinic. “So when the patient is lying in that room, they can actually immerse themselves in this healing environment… to decrease their stress levels and blood pressure.”

She’s excited to apply her creativity to see if changes in a patient’s immune system might lead to better outcomes for their cancer. She’s also passionate about the emerging field of personalized medicine as it relates to her specialty, looking at each patient’s unique tumor DNA and tailoring a radiation approach that’s best for that person.

Dr. Hoffe witnesses courage every day—and feels she can play a role in fostering it.

“Part of courage is empowering the patient. How? With knowledge to face whatever lies ahead,” she says. “And Moffitt’s team approach helps accelerate the pace of the patient’s ability to deal with their illness."