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Prostate Cancer Superheroes

Radiation Oncologist Dan Spratt Discusses the Likeness of Physicians and Superheroes

Dan Spratt has taken an odd route on his way to becoming a doctor. Growing up in Eugene, Oregon, he grew up wanting to be a superhero. Today, he sort of is one. Dr. Spratt is a radiation oncologist and chair of clinical research of the division of Genitourinary sciences at the University of Michigan, and he feels that he has the best job in the world because he gets to help people, just like a superhero does.

“I think the success of either a super hero or a physician is their ability to interact with the people they are trying to save,” Spratt says. Dan got his medical training at Vanderbilt University where he obtained his medical degree, and he completed his radiation oncology residency at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. And before he became a physician, he was a personal trainer, hopping around the U.S. from Hawaii to Atlanta and Nashville to New York.  “Being a physician allows you to become close to a patient and also be able to treat them in a way that being just involved in their diet and exercise did not allow me to do.”

And that is the essence, he says, of being a superhero or physician: it’s about the interaction with other people. Both are successful by working with patients and families and listening to those that they’re trying to save. They also work well and alongside with other professionals around them, including other doctors, scientists and staff. “I get to see these patients every day and help them; sometimes it’s to cure them and sometimes it’s to just be with them during the process.”

Dan Spratt truly knows what it is to be a superhero physician.