I speak with Dr. David Min, an oncologist that has special meaning in my life for how his personal touch and realness with me solved a mysterious neurological condition that took me to over 40 medical visits with more than 12 specialists.
I asked him where he learned to practice medicine that left room for him to show up personally the way he did with me and I learned that his worldview was radically torn down by the day he rushed to ground zero on 9/11 and tried to save firefighters that were seriously injured.
“One I remember the most [had what we call a ‘golden moment’ near the end.] He was burned and I was about to intubate him. And he said, ‘Well Doc, I don’t think I’m gonna make it. I want to call my fiance–I just got engaged–to let her know its been good.’ He wanted to say goodbye. So I gave him my phone. Then I tubed him. After that, he passed away in about a couple of hours. I came home. I slept like a baby, no problem. Back to my rotations and I was doing ICU rotation, about three months out. I was ’rounding’ and I started crying. All of a sudden.”
He was experiencing PTSD and depression but readily embraced treatment and recovered.
Looking back, David realized that he couldn’t find the true meaning of his life until he was broken, despite having success by the world’s standards.
He shares about how his Korean family inherited a sense of fear of failing so they were taught to always aim far higher than you actually need to get but how crushing this weight was to his soul.
David’s oncology practice was struggling to be profitable until he let go of these pressures and decided to show up for people. Today he’s pioneered a system that’s not only profitable but provides free cancer treatment to the uninsured when no one in the medical field is there to step in.
And he has a message that anyone touched by the shadow of cancer needs to hear:
Dr. Frederick (David) Min has extensive experience as a clinical investigator and drug developer. After his internal medicine training from Cornell, he proceeded to combined Clinical Pharmacology and Oncology fellowship from NIH and Georgetown University Medical Center. He has published and presented numerous articles in ASCO, ASH, ASCPT and FDA meetings. He has led several Phase I clinical trials and regulatory science as clinical investigator including the approval of Treanda (Bendamustine). He has led multiple novel therapies in different stages in the US, Europe and Asia as Global Clinical Lead at Novartis as Senior Medical Director.
Dr. Min was honored with multiple awards including the RISES award from Washington Adventist Hospital, Top doctor at Washingtonian, Patients Choice award and was named one of “America’s Top Oncologists” by the Consumers’ Research Council of America. He serves as clinical professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical School.