This spring, the "Andrew Berchuck, MD, Gynecologic Oncology Endowed Lectureship" was established in celebration of Dr. Berchuck's "remarkable legacy to the subspecialty of gynecologic oncology and to training the next generation of physicians dedicated to research, education, and patient care."
Andrew Berchuck, MD, the James M. Ingram Distinguished Professor of Gynecologic Oncology, is the third and current chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology (2005 to present) in the Duke Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. An accomplished gynecologic oncologist and researcher, he also directs the Duke Cancer Institute Gynecologic Cancer Disease Group, and is co-director, with Jennifer Plichta, MD, MS, of Cancer Genetics at DCI.
Berchuck joined the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center (now DCI) in 1987. Since day one he’s led a research program focused on the molecular-genetic alterations involved in the malignant transformation of the ovarian and endometrial epithelium. He maintains a clinical practice in surgical and medication management of individuals with ovarian, endometrial, and lower genital tract cancers.
Along the way, he's had the privilege to train about 40 fellows and some 250 residents. And while Berchuck has been at Duke long enough to witness some medical students become residents, then fellows, and eventually partners, the focus of the endowment, he said, is to re-establish and maintain connections with former Division fellows who are no longer at Duke and bring them back to learn about their work and how the training they received at Duke has served them in their careers through the annual oncology lectureship and possibly other events.
It was in that vein that the Division's second chief Daniel Clarke-Pearson, MD, a Duke resident and fellow in the 1970s who went on to lead the Division of Gynecologic Oncology from 1987 to 2005 — was invited to deliver the inaugural "Andrew Berchuck, MD, Gynecologic Oncology Endowed Lecture" on May 31.
Said Ob/Gyn Department Chair Matthew Barber, MD, before introducing the speaker that morning, "As I was thinking about this endowment and Andy, the one word that kept coming to mind was impact. And he has had just an incredible impact on this institution, on the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, on the Duke Cancer Institute, on the field of gynecologic oncology, and on the thousands of patients that he's had the opportunity to care for, as well as (his impact on) many medical students, residents, and fellows, and he's done it in so many ways — as a compassionate caregiver, as an extremely skilled surgeon, as an innovator, as a scientist, as a mentor, as a teacher, as a leader. And, in fact, I would say that Dr. Berchuck really is the archetype of the Triple Threat."