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5 Qs with Dr. Corrie Anderson

5 Qs with Dr. Corrie Anderson

Based at Seattle Children's Hospital, Dr. Anderson is one of our anesthesiologists. He works with our younger children and anyone who needs anesthesia to hold perfectly still during proton therapy. Read his fascinating answers to our 5 Questions.

What led you to become an anesthesiologist?

I actually started out to become a pediatric oncologist. It was a goal since early high school. During medical school, I did several years of training in the Medical Scientist Training Program, studying DNA repair mechanisms so that I had a better understanding of research and oncogenesis. After attending medical school, I applied to and was accepted into the pediatric residency program at Boston Children’s Hospital. My plan was to train at the Dana-Faber Institute and become a pediatric oncologist. During my second year of training, when I was on an elective rotation in anesthesiology, I discovered a whole new world of medicine in the operating room. It was very enriching and rewarding taking care of patients and making them comfortable while they underwent a variety of painful surgical procedures. The fellowship director liked my work so much that he offered me a fellowship position and told me all I needed to do was an anesthesiology residency. I turned him down at first because I was bound and determined to be an oncologist. A month or so after the offer, I received a call from one of the residents I had worked with in the OR. He told me that two positions had opened up at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and that I should apply. I spoke with my mentor and my wife and I decided to do so. I was accepted and completed both the pediatric residency and the anesthesiology residency, and a pediatric anesthesiology fellowship. The latter two are at The Boston Children’s Hospital. Once at Boston Children’s I was inspired by two mentors, Chuck Berde and Navil Sethna. They were just beginning their work in pediatric pain management. I felt this was a new, exciting and meaningful field, so I spent time honing my skills as a pain management specialist. After completing the fellowship, I moved my family to Los Angeles, where I started a pediatric pain management program while also directing the pediatric anesthesiology program.

What interested you in proton therapy?

Besides the fact that the patients are adorable, the field is absolutely fascinating. At Stanford Medical School, I was in the Cancer Biology Program, where I did my research on DNA repair. Our lab worked on the mechanisms of DNA repair after UV and X-Ray damage. Proton therapy falls right in line with my previous work. 

What is your favorite pastime? 

My most favorite pastime is skiing, but I also love soccer, photography, tennis and gardening. I raced in high school for our school ski team at an area called Buck Hill in Burnsville, Minnesota. Lindsay Vonn spent her formative years on the ski racing team there. I also was on the Ski Team as a freshman in college.

Can you share a favorite destination with us?

My favorite destination is Brazil. When I die, I want to come back as a Brazilian. The people are wonderful and the soccer is very special. My wife and I went to the World Cup there in 2014.

Tell us something surprising about you! 

I grew up on welfare. I used to speak Russian. I have jumped out of a plane and have anesthetized several Hollywood luminaries and a chimpanzee.