In a recent meeting with Dr. Benjamin Bridges of Maryland Oncology Hematology (MOH), Wellness House of Annapolis learned about his passion for science. As he described his journey in oncology, he shared that he had met his wife while they studied together at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. Dr. Bridges and his wife later moved to Maryland, where he completed his Internal Medicine Residency at University of Maryland Medical Systems.
Dr. Bridges described his experience with cancer in his family, “When I was a first-year resident, my grandfather got lung cancer. So, I got a first-hand experience seeing the world that a cancer patient lives in,” said Dr. Bridges. This connection presented an opportunity to be involved from someone who had expertise in the science, as well as the personal side of a family member’s experience.
He further explained, “When he got the diagnosis, I was to a certain extent involved with his care as the medical person in the family who could talk to his doctors and get the real story about what was going on. I saw how the cancer affected him and the rest of my family. This led to my next steps, during my second and third year of residency, when I rotated through the Cancer Center at University of Maryland a couple of times.”
His impressive work continued, along with his passion, working in the field of oncology, which eventually took him to Boise, Idaho where he was Director of Early Phase Research at Mountain States Tumor Institute. He continued his career in oncological research, becoming Principal Investigator in the Pacific Cancer Research Consortium in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute, the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, Washington, and the Providence Cancer Institute in Portland, Oregon.
After completing research projects in Boise, Dr. Bridges and his wife contemplated where they could live the life that they wanted, while contributing to a robust medical community at the forefront of cancer therapies. They determined that the Maryland area would be the best option for them, and he joined the staff at Maryland Oncology Hematology.
After joining MOH, he learned about the significant and positive impact Wellness House had on his cancer patients. He was able to see first-hand how patients were given the additional support and motivation they needed to withstand the arduous cancer treatment programs.
He shared one of his first experiences with the Wellness House with a young patient of his, who was going through chemotherapy prior to breast cancer surgery. He found that Wellness House’s services were instrumental in her ability to get through the treatment and negative side effects. “She experienced this at a time where she also had young children. I think it really provided the additional support that my clinic could not have given to her,” Dr. Bridges explains.
“Mainly, she participated in a lot of the guided meditation classes that you guys do, and it really allowed her to cope with the chemotherapy and the difficult things that she had to get through. I suspect if she had not had those classes available to her, it would have been much more difficult for her to get through the treatment,” said Dr. Bridges.
Dr. Benjamin Bridges of Maryland Oncology Hematology is married and lives in Crownsville with his wife and St. Bernard. He is extremely active in MOH’s clinical research program, publishing research articles in numerous peer-reviewed journals in the areas of lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer with a major clinical interest in lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer.