The Multidisciplinary Clinic

What separates our cancer care from the rest is our comprehensive, multidisciplinary clinic (MDC) approach. This unique model of care has been clinically proven to improve patient satisfaction and actual outcomes. It’s also one of the reasons why the Van Dyke Cancer Centers are leaders in breast cancer care.

At Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s, patients do not need to schedule individual appointments on separate days with each provider. Instead, the MDC allows a patient to meet with all of the providers who will be participating in her care during one appointment, and usually within one week. After one day of consultations, a patient leaves with a good sense of her treatment plan and the providers who will be caring for her.

At the helm of the MDC approach are our nurse navigators who guide patients through their breast cancer journey. As a key member of the cancer care team, nurse navigators make initial contact with patients to go over medical history and get to know each one on a personal basis.

The Multidisciplinary Conference

Twice a week, the entire cancer care team holds a conference where newly diagnosed breast cancer cases are discussed. The conference begins with an introduction by the nurse navigator who previously made contact with the patient. Then, a breast radiologist reviews the mammograms and a pathologist shows biopsy slides. The surgeon, medical oncologist and radiation oncologist present their treatment plan recommendations, which are examined by the whole cancer care team to develop an individual care plan. After the conference, each provider involved will meet with the patient and her family, one right after the other.


Cancer Care Team

  • Nurse navigators

  • Breast radiologist

  • Pathologist

  • Surgeon

  • Medical oncologists

  • Radiation oncologists

  • Genetic counselor

  • Psychologist

  • Research study coordinators

  • Occupational therapists

  • Plastic Surgeon

  • Gynecologist and/or Internal Medicine physicians

  • Other members of women's imaging and radiation therapy departments 

Click here to read an article on multidisciplinary cancer care, by Dr. Alysandra Lal, Surgeon and Medical Director, Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Breast Cancer Program.



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