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Bruce H. Saidman, MD was shaped by two influential people in his life. The first was his father, Lester Saidman, MD, a beloved family doctor in Noxen. “When I was with him, we almost always talked about medicine,” Dr. Saidman said, adding that these talks sparked his interest in science.

“When I left home for college, I was thinking of a career not in medicine, but in science,” he said. At Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts he began to feel the influence of his second mentor, his medical partner and brother-in-law, David Greenwald, MD, whom he considers his older brother. “I respected and admired what he did,” he said. These feelings, coupled with a growing interest in the rapidly advancing field of oncology, made up his mind. He was accepted to Temple University’s School of Medicine, after which he completed a residency at Virginia Commonwealth University and a fellowship in medical oncology at the Yale University School of Medicine in Connecticut.

Dr. Saidman’s view of medicine has been shaped by his mentors, who both embody a patient-centered approach. “I was awed by my dad’s breadth of knowledge, and I really liked the long-term relationships he had with patients,” Dr. Saidman said. “And Dr. Greenwald’s patient-first attitude impresses me. It’s made him the most caring and knowledgeable doctor I’ve ever known.”

Drs. Greenwald and Saidman are now partners in Medical Oncology Associates of Wyoming Valley, a practice that embraced holistic cancer care long before it became the medical standard. “We recognize that disease doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” Dr. Saidman said. “Disease, especially cancer, affects people emotionally, physically, psychologically, spiritually and financially.” It is this concern for the whole person that Dr. Saidman now teaches to the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine students who rotate through his practice. The practice even has counselors on staff to help patients cope – counselors with whom his medical students must spend time.

“I try to teach the students how to listen to what the patient is telling them, to hear their fears and concerns,” he said. “They need to know it’s OK to not always have an immediate answer, but to be sure the patient knows you’ll do everything you can to help. Good communication puts the patient first.”
Bruce Saidman