Joanna A. Gibson, MD, PhD, a pathologist, still remembers details from a lecture she heard as a graduate teaching assistant in the Mayo Clinic’s MD-PhD program in Rochester, Minn. “I remember the lecturer explained how cancer cells behaved in the body, and then showed an image of those cancer cells within a biopsy sample projected on a slide—and it just clicked for me,” Dr. Gibson says. “I loved how pathology brought the science and the patient care aspects together.” Today, Dr. Gibson specializes in diagnosing gastrointestinal and liver diseases, including cancers, at Yale Medicine.
“For each patient case, I read through the medical history and notes to get a good idea in my mind about who the patient is,” Dr. Gibson says. Even when dealing with a high volume of biopsies, taking these extra moments to put together a patient’s story is crucial, she says.
As an assistant professor of pathology at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Gibson also conducts research on the pathology of gastrointestinal diseases.