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The one hundred honoree: Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD

Profile in Medicine

The one hundred honoree: Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD

Mass General Giving

Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD, director of Hematologic Radiation Oncology at Mass General, focuses on two aspects of cancer: creating the best radiation therapy to treat hematological malignancies and breast cancer, and ensuring everyone can access it by addressing the sociocultural barriers that contribute to disparities in cancer outcomes.

Dr. Winkfield’s ultimate goal is to develop a platform for discussion that will enable accurate and timely dispersal of clinical information in the black community; address cultural barriers to accessing and accepting appropriate cancer care; and encourage policymakers to invest in initiatives designed to address inequalities in the health care delivery system.

As only the second black woman to graduate from the Medical Scientist Training Program at Duke University, she provides a unique perspective on the challenges minorities often face when pursuing a career in the sciences. She educates the public through community outreach and also presents to hospital staff, physicians, scientists and administrators.

In 2010, Dr. Winkfield was appointed president of the New England Medical Association (NEMA) whose mission is to represent the interests of physicians of color practicing in the New England area and physicians caring for minority patients. She is a co-founder and director of the Association of Black Radiation Oncologists (ABRO). She also serves on the Health Disparities Advisory Group for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Health Access and Training Subcommittee for the American Society of Radiation Oncologists (ASTRO).”