Daniel J. Boffa, MD, is director of clinical affairs for Yale Medicine’s thoracic surgery program. As a thoracic surgeon, he primarily treats people for esophageal and lung cancers, but he also sees patients who may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), difficulty swallowing (achalasia) or stomach hernias.
Dr. Boffa places his patient’s needs first. When he discusses options with patients, he first listens carefully to understand their concerns—and makes treatment recommendations based on their quality-of-life preferences. “In an era of personalized medicine, the goals of your care are as important as your DNA,” Dr. Boffa says.
Then he talks to them very frankly about their prospects. “I tell every patient that I’m from the Midwest and we tell it like it is,” he says. “In my experience, when people hear the truth, it’s actually more comforting because they know what they are up against.”
Dr. Boffa says that the high rate of success in Yale Medicine’s thoracic surgery program can be attributed to team members’ deep expertise and desire to give patients the best coordinated care. Yale Medicine’s thoracic oncology program consistently ranks at the top of listings compiled by the Society for Thoracic Surgeons, Dr. Boffa says.
As an associate professor of surgery, Dr. Boffa conducts research into innovative approaches to care. “The more you understand about the patient and their disease,” he says, “the more likely you are to end up with the results the patient is happy with.”