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The one hundred honoree: Shannon M. MacDonald, MD

Profile in Medicine

The one hundred honoree: Shannon M. MacDonald, MD

Mass General Giving

As a radiation oncologist at Mass General Cancer Center, Shannon MacDonald, MD, is revered by grateful patients and their families for her empathy as well as her expertise.

Among these patients was a fragile young woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer at another facility. When she called seeking a second opinion about treatment options, Dr. MacDonald’s administrative assistant, detecting her anxiety, immediately scheduled a consultation. Dr. MacDonald’s caring attentiveness calmed the patient, who decided to receive radiation treatment at Mass General. Over the course of her treatment, she called Dr. MacDonald several times for encouragement and counsel. Speaking of Dr. MacDonald’s patience and kindness, she told her clinicians that she did not know what would have happened to her had she not made that first call.

Also an educator, Dr. MacDonald is the course director for the Harvard Medical School Radiation Oncology Clerkship. Inspired by her compassion and skill, many of the residents who work with her elect radiation oncology as their specialty.