The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has awarded the prestigious David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award 2014 to the Curaçao-born oncologist Herbert Michael ‘Bob’ Pinedo (70). Pinedo is the first Dutch citizen and the third European citizen to receive the award since 1970. The ASCO is applauding Pinedo’s approach in testing new concepts in clinical trials and applying them seamlessly in patient care. Pinedo has also made crucial discoveries in the biology of cancer and the affects and resistance of medicine with patients.
Dating back to his medical school days, Pinedo has always subscribed to renowned American surgeon John Benjamin Murphy‘s credo: the patient is the center of the medical universe around which all our works revolve and towards which all our efforts tend. As such, Pinedo has been deliberate about ‘understanding the patient’ throughout his career.
“Spend a minimum of twenty minutes with each patient” was one of the rules Pinedo instituted among his medical staff. “I’ve heard of surgeons seeing 50 patients on one day… that’s too many… patients need time to get comfortable, so that they can muster up the courage to express themselves.” Another Pinedo rule: encourage clinical researchers to step out of the lab and mingle with hospital caregivers and patients. “That way the researchers can see the effects of medication on patients.” Pinedo’s international colleagues were shocked to hear about this rule. But he remains steadfast: “It’s the only way to truly understand what’s going on with the patient. Some patients divulge a lot more information to their nurses than to their doctors.”
Pinedo, Professor Emeritus of VU Medisch Center and Founder of the Vumc Cancer Center Amsterdam (CCA), where research is done on cancer, has been distinguished several times for his work. He has received the Dr. Josef Steiner Award (1995) and the Spinoza Award (1997). The first is also called the ‘Nobel Prize for Oncology’ and the second the ‘Netherlands Nobel Prize for Science’. The Bob Pinedo Cancer Care Prize was also named after him. This prize is awarded every year to someone who has made remarkable progress in the applied research and the care of cancer patients, with compassion as driving force.
Pinedo is one of the founders of Fundashon Prevenshon (2010) in Curaçao, the screening center for breast cancer and cervical cancer.
Source: Ode aan ’mensenarts’