After a childhood visit to the doctor sparked his interest in medicine, Dr. Gary Hoos has spent his career treating cancer patients.
“As a kid, I got sick with an ear infection. I went into the doctor, and he drew out a picture on the exam room paper of an ear on the inside to show me where the infection was,” says Hoos, a 29-year veteran of the health care industry who is now the medical director of oncology services for St. John’s Clinic.
Hoos earned his medical degree at the University of Oklahoma.
After considering several subspecialty fields, Hoos felt most connected to oncology care, and he has worked in that arena since. He now sees about 25 patients a day.
“I try to listen to all of the people who have a stake in a particular issue,” Hoos says.
“I try to sample all opinions and then try to present as balanced an interpretation as I can,” he adds.
Though he’s had a number of memorable patients during his career, he says one expectant mother with cancer stands out in his mind.
“(She) was a married girl, and she got pregnant, and her one request for me was to keep her alive and keep her going until she delivered the baby because, as she described, the baby was the best thing she had ever done in the world,” Hoos says.
“I was successful at fulfilling her wish to get her all the way through the pregnancy. The baby delivered and was fine. The mom eventually succumbed to her illness. It was tough for her … but we got her through it.”
Hoos has dedicated his time to a number of organizations through the years as a board member to organizations that support cancer patients.
These include the American Cancer Society, Make Today Count and Camp Blue Bird.
Board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, Hoos is on the board of directors of St. John’s Clinic, and he is a past board member for St. John’s and Cox Medical Centers.
He also serves as medical director of St. John’s Curry Cancer Center in Lebanon.
Hoos also has been a member of the Greene County Medical Society since 1986 and is a past president of the organization, which supports physicians and advocates with state and federal legislators on health issues.
“I was able to make some changes where we were able to bring some physicians from outside of Greene County into the organization and in turn, help the group grow to be broader and a more encompassing organization than it was when I was just a member,” he says. Click here for full coverage of the 2011 Salute to Health Care.