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Rachael Turner

  • Medical School:  University at Buffalo
  • Residency: University of Rochester

Why Did You Choose Your Field

I have been interested in oncology for a long time due to struggles that close family and friends of mine have had with cancer. When I was first exposed to the field as a medical provider, I found that it enabled me to combine my love for patient care, with my interests in research. Also our patients are just the most amazing group of people and they inspire me every day.

Program Uniqueness

Our program at the University of Rochester is unique in that it is tailored towards the training you will need as an oncologist, not just designed to fill the hospital’s needs.  While we do obviously have some inpatient and consult exposure, the majority of our training is in the outpatient setting. Additionally, the program enables flexibility by allowing you to choose which outpatient clinics are of interest to you.

Program Recommendation

This is a program that has world-class experts at your disposal but still cares about you personally.  Our program director is always working to protect our time and to help us get the most out of our experience here. They are also very supportive of fellows who have a heavy research interest.

Learned Skills

I have learned so much that it is hard to concisely answer this question.  I remember when I was a resident and I would attend oncology tumor boards, colloquiums and seminars, that it was almost like they were speaking a different language. I would find myself getting lost in the mutational testing results and subclassifications of cancer types. I now feel that I am proficient in all hematologic malignancies and solid cancers. While it would be hard to be a true expert in all of oncology since the field is so broad and ever-expanding, I feel that I have sufficient knowledge treat all of the most common cancer types and I know what resources and experts to turn to for additional information that I may need on more rare conditions.

Living In Rochester

Rochester is a great place to raise a family with tons of family-friendly activities and venues.  Also the cost of living is quite reasonable and there are several highly ranked school districts within a close drive.  I also love hiking and there are at least 30 trails within a 20 minute drive of my house and Letchworth State Park and the Finger Lakes are less than a 60 min drive away.

Research Interests

Gynecologic cancer therapeutics and tumor immunology.

Research Projects

I am performing translational research on the role of human epididymis protein 4 (HE4) in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer, with a specific focus on its impact on tumor immunity.  Our lab is also actively involved in new drug development for gynecologic cancers.

Career Goals

My goal is to become an academic oncologist with a focus on women’s cancers and a successful research lab of my own.

How Has This Program Prepared You For Your Future

It has provided me with exposure to all different cancer types, including rare disease.  It has allowed me to learn from excellent teachers in a supportive environment. It has also allowed me time to get my research projects off of the ground.