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A Bone Marrow Transplant Physician treats patients with unhealthy bone marrow by replacing it with healthy bone marrow. Found inside bones, bone marrow is extremely important, because it produces blood cells, including white blood cells that fight disease. When people suffer from diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and anemia, their bone marrow can become sick, leaving their bodies without an immune system. That’s when they come to see a Bone Marrow Transplant Physician.
As a Bone Marrow Transplant Physician, you’re typically a Hematologist, and your duties are a lot like those of any Doctor. For instance, you consult with patients, you diagnose diseases, and you prescribe therapies and medications. That’s all standard. What isn’t standard, however, is what you spend most of your days doing: bone marrow transplants.
There are several steps to doing a bone marrow transplant. Generally, though, it starts with harvesting healthy bone marrow either from a donor or from the patient using a large needle inserted into the rear hipbone, where a large quantity of bone marrow is stored. Next, you collaborate with a Bone Marrow Transplant Nurse to administer chemotherapy that destroys the patient’s bad bone marrow. Finally, you intravenously inject new marrow into the patient, then monitor them for several weeks to make sure it “takes.”
Because the product of your work is new white blood cells, you’re literally helping patients “fight” disease!