What began as an internship at Baptist Memorial Hospital more than 30 years ago has turned into a one of the most influential medical careers in the local health care community for Kurt Tauer, chief of staff at the West Cancer Clinic.

“One of my interests is treating patients, but disparity and end of life are particular areas I’m interested in. As a clinic, we’re trying to get better at that. There’s a controversy in oncology of when you should stop treating people, but we have less than 2 percent of our patients receiving chemotherapy when their lives are at the end. For me personally, there’s a ton of sadness here every day. But there’s a real reward in that sadness. I didn’t give them the cancer, but I can sure help them do the best they can with the cancer. We mourn each person who passes, but we find reward in how they pass. No one wants to lose anybody, but we all have to die. And we try to make that time as pleasant as we can with this terrible disease.”

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