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The one hundred honoree: Douglas  J. Mathisen, MD

Profile in Medicine

The one hundred honoree: Douglas J. Mathisen, MD

Mass General Giving

Douglas Mathisen, MD, is chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Mass General and director of its Cardiothoracic Surgery Program. His life-saving expertise and compassion have transformed outcomes for many cancer patients, including Michelle Cadorette.

“Dr. Mathisen has saved my life four times,” writes Michelle, who first met with Dr. Mathisen 12 years ago, when at age 30, she was newly diagnosed with stage IV malignant thymoma.

“My parents and I waited five hours because he had to perform emergency surgery. He arrived in surgical garb, and couldn’t have been more apologetic, cordial or compassionate. He made me feel like I was his only patient that day.

“After removing my tumors, Dr. Mathisen closely followed my progress. Five years later, in 2005, he removed more thymoma tumors. In January 2012, he operated once again to de-bulk malignant tissues that had grown in the ensuing years. He visited me daily during my hospital stay. He was as thrilled as we were that the surgery went so well.

“Dr. Mathisen makes me feel safe and, quite literally, in the best of hands. His care has allowed me to continue teaching high school and live an active and productive life surrounded by my loving, supportive family and friends.”