Oftentimes, the most unnerving part of a cancer diagnosis is the uncertainty. Many patients feel overwhelmed by the unknowns: What does radiation therapy involve? How will it affect my day-to-day life? When will I go into remission?
At SERO, we want to make your treatment as effective and stress-free as possible. We want to address the unknowns. With this in mind, we think it is helpful for patients to learn more about the radiation oncologists they will be working with.
This month, we sat down with Dr. Will Warlick to ask him a few questions about life outside the office. August is the perfect month to highlight Dr. Warlick because it’s also his birthday month. (Happy birthday Dr. Warlick!)
What do you and your family enjoy doing when you’re away from work?
My family and I love to play games. Our favorite board game is Catan. We also really enjoy escape rooms. We have done them in many different cities. I actually took the family to an escape room for Mother’s Day—I’m not sure that was the gift she was looking for! We even refer to my daughter, Luisa, as Houdini because she’s really good at it.
Do you have a favorite TV show, movie, or book?
My favorite TV show was “Cheers” but I also really enjoyed “Ted Lasso.” My favorite movie is a toss-up between “The Sound of Music” and “Fletch.” My favorite book is “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry. I enjoy reading Carl Hiaasen’s books on vacation because they’re so funny—I need a little humor sometimes.
Tell us about your education.
I received an ROTC scholarship to Davidson College. I went on to receive my medical school training at the Medical College of Georgia. I did my residency at the Huntsman Cancer Institute with the University of Utah. At the time, the Huntsman Cancer Institute was the leading genetic contributor to the global genome project. They were looking heavily into the genetic influence on cancer development by studying the genetic profile of families with the large genealogy archives.
After my residency, I served on staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We had a joint program with the National Cancer Institute. I was able to work with incredibly bright, young physicians who had trained at different institutions. This was an incredible experience before coming to Charlotte.
What inspired you to choose your specialty?
I enjoyed almost all my rotations in medical school. But ultimately, I found radiation oncology had the perfect mix of incredible connections with the patients and their families and incredible technical breakthroughs in diagnostic radiology and radiation oncology.
The patient involvement is unique, and I feel very fortunate to be helping them during a very critical time in their life. I have also found palliating a patient’s symptoms with difficulties in advanced cancer can provide incredible rewards. And currently, with the advancements in image guidance and the ability to provide stereotactic ablative doses to limited metastatic disease, I am very excited as the field moves forward.