Andrew Vassil, MD (IM’06, RO’10), an Alumni Association Board Specialty Director representing the Taussig Cancer Institute, is a staff physician and Medical Director for Radiation Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic Strongsville Family Health Center.
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Q. What led you to a career in medicine? Growing up, I loved biology class. After studying plant molecular biology in college, I worked at an NCI designated cancer center in New Jersey, researching mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance. Witnessing patients’ experiences inspired me to pursue a career in direct patient care. Medical school broadened my horizon to the scope of healthcare. Ultimately, I found radiation oncology to fit what I was looking for, as it combines research and advanced technology to help personalize treatment for patients.
Q. What motivated you to serve on the Alumni Board? I am very proud to have trained at Cleveland Clinic for both my internship and residency, and also honored to be surrounded by so many talented people. The Alumni Board Director position for the Taussig Cancer Institute gives me the opportunity to interact with many talented alumni from other departments, to learn about their experiences and share what we do in radiation oncology.
What’s your favorite Cleveland Clinic memory? I came to Cleveland Clinic in 2005 and have many great memories, so I can’t limit it to just one. Meeting my wife while I was a resident changed my life. Also, spending five years with one of my favorite friends/co-residents, Erin Murphy, MD (IM’06, RO’10), and running around the hospital as an intern with Dale Shepard, MD, PhD (IM’06,H/O’09), seeing so many interesting patients.
Who are your Cleveland Clinic mentors? Gregory Videtic, MD (Staff’03), was my residency program director, and I still call him frequently for advice. Anthony Mastroianni, MD (IM’93), at Fairview Hospital, is who I call on most for advice on life and medicine. He’s on my speed dial.
What’s a work-related accomplishment of which you are most proud? I’m most proud to be on a team of dedicated caregivers in Radiation Oncology, not only in our Strongsville department, but also enterprise-wide. They are like a second family to me.
What hobbies or interests do you enjoy outside of work? I spend most of my free time playing sports, hiking, cooking and exploring the world with my family.
Is there any advice you would care to offer future alumni? Stay connected; make time to say ‘hello.’ Life in medicine is busy, but we should always find opportunities to laugh and have fun.
Any other thoughts you would like to share? All alumni of Cleveland Clinic are extremely fortunate to have had the chance to train in such a unique environment. We have shared experiences from our training, and we still can learn from each other.