As a sixth grader, Dr. Brandt L. Esplin’s idea of a good read was his older brother’s AP biology book.
Years later when Dr. Esplin was approaching medical school, his grandmother passed away from lung cancer. Suddenly his childhood attraction to science became a call to care for patients like his grandma.
Before joining the medical community in Utah, Dr. Esplin did an internal medicine residency and hematology and oncology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he studied with top-notch docs, who instilled in him the mantra of collaborative team-based care and that the needs of the patient always come first.
“It has been a great opportunity to return home to Utah Valley, where every day I look my patients in the eye and tell them — not just at Revere, but with all our colleagues in the valley — they have access to the expertise, resources and capability of the same caliber of care they would receive at a place like the Mayo Clinic,” he says.
Looking ahead “Cancer care is continuously improving at an accelerated rate. We’re getting better at treating and curing a lot of cancers that we didn’t have successful treatments for even five and 10 years ago. People are living longer. Treatments are more effective, and therefore, more often than not, the news is better than it used to be.”
Good news “I get attached to my patients, and I love them as much as I love my family members. The truth is I give a lot more good news on any given day than I give bad news. I have a lot more uplifting than difficult conversations.”
Think positive “What is probably most surprising to people is how well many cancer patients can live during their treatments. There’s an idea that every cancer patient is always sick, not able to live any resemblance of a normal life, and that’s not true. There are a lot of patients — even those with incurable cancers — who are living longer and better than ever before. That is one of the exciting parts of oncology care nowadays. Our treatments are getting more effective and less toxic, and that’s going to keep getting better.”
Making connections “I learned early on in my training that no other diagnosis changes a human being the way the word ‘cancer’ does. In my experience, cancer brings out the absolute best the human spirit has to offer. There is something uniquely special about the meaningful, personal relationship that develops between an oncologist and his patients. It truly is a privilege to take care of those with cancer.”