Behind the Stethoscope is a series from the team at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, introducing you to the men and women at your side in your fight against cancer.
Meredith Crisp Duffy, MD, FACOG
MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper
What was your first job?
I was a “chip girl.” I actually bused tables and took chips to guests at a Tex Mex restaurant in my home town. I worked with several football players and found myself trying to carry as much on my tray as they did. That resulted in my dropping things off of a heavy tray once or twice, but I soon learned just how much I could carry successfully.
Tell us something about you that people wouldn’t expect.
I was a tour guide for Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, Kentucky throughout my college years. I was actually terrified of public speaking initially. I was selected and asked to interview. It seemed like such an interesting job and provided some spending money for me as a college student, so I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I went from being intimidated of public speaking to discussing the plant’s manufacturing and Toyota’s philosophies with the public and executives in the car industry.
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I love to travel anywhere with my husband. But, our very favorite spot is Cape May, New Jersey. We have so many great memories there. We walk down the main street or ride our bikes to the ocean, a farm, a great restaurant or to watch the sunset.
Tell us your favorite book, movie or song – and why.
My favorite song is Valentine, by Martina McBride and Jim Brickman. I sang this to my husband the night before our wedding. After the rehearsal, I asked everyone to stay a few minutes longer before dinner. My husband tells me I asked him to sit in the corner which is true, but in the corner was also a piano. My mother played piano and I serenaded my husband with the song that said everything I was feeling. It set a great tone for the rest of the weekend and has been an amazing memory.
What inspired you to become a cancer specialist?
I have been surrounded by friends and family with cancer since I was young. I would go to appointments with a friend in elementary school who was receiving chemotherapy. Two of my grandparents had leukemia. I was a candy striper on the oncology floor when I was in middle school. When I started my OB-GYN residency, I was drawn to the amazing women on the gynecologic oncology service. I was not only interested in oncology, but also in making a positive impact in the lives of patients and their families.
What is your essential patient care philosophy?
I treat every woman as I want my family members to be treated. Each woman is a unique individual, a mother, sister, daughter or friend to so many. I am always honored to be entrusted with the care of each woman; every patient is important to me.
What do you hope your patients say about you to their family and friends?
I hope they say that I always have their best interest at heart, that I listen carefully to them, understand and respect their desires, and provide them with excellent care.
What three words best describe you?
Honest, empathetic, conscientious.
Outside of your family and your work, what are your passions (pets, music, travel, history, etc.)?
I enjoy spending time with friends and family. My husband and I love to be outdoors. We enjoy gardening, riding our bicycles, and taking walks through nature.
If you could have dinner with any three persons living or deceased, who would they be and why?
- Joel Osteen – I love his positive message. I listen to him on the radio and think it would be interesting and inspiring to spend time with him.
- Benjamin Franklin – Living in this area, you get to hear so much about the people who shaped our country early on. He was a scientist, inventor, politician, diplomat and had so many other talents. How interesting it would be to hear his creativity and philosophies on life.
- Gracie, my grandmother- I was close to all of my grandparents, but Gracie was the only one I knew during my adult years. She had an 8th grade education, but was so wise, intelligent, and well read. She worked hard and had a spunky personality. She taught me to sew and to bake and she had a remarkable green thumb. She loved and appreciated nature. Frequently, I feel a sense of her presence in my life. As I garden, cook, or enjoy the birds at our feeders, I know she would appreciate where life has taken me and see that Kentucky and my family will always be in my heart.
The Gynecologic Cancer Center at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper is the largest and most experienced gynecologic cancer treatment program in South Jersey. For more than three decades, our team of specialists has provided compassionate care to women with cancer and precancerous diseases of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, vulva, and vagina. Learn more and meet your team of specialists by clicking here.