Dr. Gabrielle Rocque completed her medical doctorate at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 2007, followed by residency training in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Hematology and Oncology, also at the University of Wisconsin. She serves as the medical director for the UAB Health System Cancer Community Network and the network’s patient navigator program, Patient Care Connect.
What inspired you to become a doctor?
Several things. I had a lot of medical exposure. My dad is an oncologist as well. He loved his patients. During medical school I loved making connections with patients as they go through their difficult time.
Did your father have anything to do with your decision?
My father didn’t pressure me to do medicine, but I saw how much he loved it and that’s where my interest began. He definitely encouraged me, but I never felt pressure.
Did you see any differences in how you were treated going through medical school as opposed to your male peers?
As a medical student I saw no major differences between how I was treated versus male students. But I had my child during residency and that was a whole other ballgame. While it was a challenge, I think being a mother gave me a different perspective on many of my patients. I treat people with breast cancer, so I see a lot of women with young children. They have to find balance too. I relate a lot to them.
I understand you wear many hats!
I enjoy being busy. I am an Assistant Professor in Hematology & Oncology, specializing in breast cancer. I also am the medical director of the Patient Care Connect Program (navigation program) and the UAB Health System Cancer Community Network. I also am a volunteer for the ASCO Quality of Care Committee and the Chair of the Measures Task Force.
What do you like about working for the UAB Cancer Center?
We have such a unique interdisciplinary medical team. I work with so many and the ability to cross between disciplines to do amazing research is, well, amazing! I just work with great people who love what they’re doing.
Do you have any advice for young women interested in medicine?
Follow what you love! There are so many more opportunities if you’re pursuing what you love. It’s so easy to get caught up in what others want you to do.