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My name is Dr. Ami Degala. I’m a breast cancer survivor. My first interaction with Henry Ford, however, was not as a patient, but as a physician in-training. I did my Internal Medicine residency at Henry Ford and both my husband and I completed our clinical fellowships here – I was in Allergy while my husband’s focus was Gastroenterology.
While we are deeply indebted to the outstanding training we received at Henry Ford, I am greatly indebted to Henry Ford for the excellent care and compassion it provided to me during my breast cancer treatment.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. My daughter was 3 years old. I was in complete shock. I found an irregularity during a self-breast exam.
I made the decision to go to Henry Ford for all of my cancer care. I could have gone to Beaumont or Mount Sinai or any other hospital for that matter, but I chose to go to my home institution. From radiology, to surgery, to plastic surgery, to oncology, to genetics, I received excellent care. And not everyone knew that I was a doctor.
I did not receive "special treatment”. I felt everyone treated me as they would have treated any other patient- with great care, integrity and compassion. It was such a different perspective for me as a doctor. I was used to being the one taking care of patients. Now, the roles were reversed and I was the patient.
I am happy to report that I am now healthy, practicing as an Allergist & Immunologist specialist in Florida, and have two kids.
I would like people to know that Henry Ford offers quality care, and I hope that my story helps to raise awareness about the importance of early detection through self-breast exams and mammograms.
Ami Degala, M.D.