FEATURE: Getting to Know Annick Desjardins

Annick Desjardins

The below article originally appeared on the Department of Neurosurgery web site on March 15, 2021 

Annick Desjardins
Annick Desjardins, MD, FRCPC

Some people fall into their life’s work by serendipity or happenstance. Annick Desjardins, MD, FRCPC, is not one of those people.

As a child growing up in Quebec, Desjardins sold daffodils with her father and sister, to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. In her kindergarten self-portrait, she drew herself in a lab coat, with a stethoscope. For a middle school research project on cancer, she brought in breast and testicle models (borrowed from the Cancer Society), to teach her classmates about self-exams.

“It was a calling,” she says.

Today, Desjardins is a neuro-oncologist in the Duke Department of Neurosurgery. In her career, she’s not only seen big changes in brain tumor treatments, she’s been at the center of them.