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Dr. Keenan

Meet Robert Keenan, MD, MMM

Vice President, Quality and Chief Medical Officer

"What we're trying to do is really practice the best medicine that we know to get the best outcomes for our patients."

Dr. Robert Keenan has a basic philosophy about the bond between a doctor and a patient: It’s a partnership.

“In many ways, the patient is the lead partner because we have to respect their wishes,” Dr. Keenan says, “and we have to understand their goals and motivations.”

Interacting with patients as Moffitt Cancer Center’s chief medical officer and vice president of quality is a “privilege” that allows Dr. Keenan the opportunity to appreciate and understand the patient’s point of view.

“We need to pay attention to what the patients are telling us about what their goals and aspirations are and then work with those goals to construct a plan of care that’s going to achieve what it is that they want.”

That treatment plan includes a range of opinions from a variety of experts who come together in weekly tumor board meetings.

“The idea that what we’ve come up with as our recommended course of treatment is based on the collective wisdom of the group, not just the biases of any one individual, I think that makes sure that we start out a treatment plan in a way that offers the best chance for our patients.”

Dr. Keenan sees courage in many forms in his patients. It may be in the strength they derive from their religious or cultural beliefs, or the strength they display when they endure several different courses of treatment.

Along those lines, he knows Moffitt must continually adapt and innovate. “We know that we need to change what we’re doing in ways that are better than what we were doing before,” he says. “If it’s not going to help patient care, we’re not going to do it.”