We are lucky to have such a passionate and talented group of radiation oncologists right here in the Carolinas. To celebrate their work and achievements inside and outside of the office, we are highlighting the life of one provider each month.
We are proud to announce that Hadley Sharp, MD is our August 2019 Provider of the Month! Dr. Hadley Sharp is the medical director and currently seeing patients at the Levine Cancer Institute, University City in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Tell us about your family.
I grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. My mother was an English teacher and chose my first name, Hadley, from the first wife of Earnest Hemingway. My brothers and I were raised with the sentiment: “The world is a book. Not to travel is to read but one page.” We all continue to travel frequently. My grandparents were, and my extended family still is, farmers and ranchers. The time I spent on farms growing up is when I developed a love of being outdoors and respecting the environment. The open spaces of Nebraska are not only good for farming, but also aviation. Like Charles Lindbergh, my father, my uncle and I began flying over the Great Plains of Nebraska. I logged my first solo flight during a 3rd year medical school rotation in rural Nebraska and have nearly completed my instrument rating.
What do enjoy doing when you are away from work?
I love being active and outside when I am not providing medical care or doing research. I played Division I college soccer at Creighton University where I studied Mathematics before going to medical school. After running many marathons, I completed a full Ironman Triathlon while in residency at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. I look forward to completing another Ironman in the future, and I have a goal of completing the Boston Marathon. Golf, scuba diving and snowboarding are other things that make me happy. I also enjoy photography. Some of my most memorable photos were taken on safari in Kenya, while trekking with silverback gorillas in Rwanda, backpacking down to Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon and glacier climbing in Iceland. There are also many causes and organizations that I support here in our community. I value the improvement of lives through education, safety and access to supportive services.
What were some of your most memorable moments in medical school?
Volunteering during medical school in clinics for non-documented Americans and caring for foreign agricultural workers is when I learned to speak Spanish. One spring break, while giving vaccinations and basic healthcare to children in the barrios of Nicaragua, I was trying to reassure a small child about the two small droplets I would place in his mouth. In Spanish, drops are pronounced “gotas.” When the child began crying, terrified, I realized I had accidentally mispronounced a word and told him I was going to place two small cats in his mouth, “gatos.” After many apologies, corrections and eventual laughter, the treatment was eventually given without the harming of any cats or children. Finding a way to connect with people and meet their individual needs is an aspect of my work that I treasure.
Why did you choose your specialty?
I was inspired to become a radiation oncologist for many reasons. The opportunity to care for people and families at a critical time in their lives; the team effort needed to deliver excellent oncologic care; my love of math and physics; the opportunity to conduct research and improve the field of cancer care; collaborating closely with physicians and providers of many specialties to bring cures and alleviate suffering. During medical school I did a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellowship. Living at the NIH and performing research on cancer vaccines in combination with radiation solidified my passion to pursue this specialty. I am grateful to work with such dedicated partners and teammates to care for the wonderful people of our community.