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5 Questions with Gabriel Ayala

5 Questions with Gabriel Ayala

Meet our newest dosimetrist, Gabriel. He recently graduated from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston after changing careers from another cancer-related field. Read our 5 Questions with Gabriel. 

What led you to become a medical dosimetrist?

My dedication to healthcare led me to become a medical dosimetrist. For 11 years I was involved in skin cancer treatment as a Mohs Histotechnologist. Changing careers and becoming a medical dosimetrist offered me the opportunity to tackle a variety of other cancers, which I find very exciting. I enjoy the challenge and creativity involved in creating radiation treatment plans for our patients.

How would you explain proton therapy to someone looking for cancer treatment?

I was just asked this question by a gentleman sitting next to me on my flight to Seattle. I explained that proton therapy has no exit radiation dose, which is not the case for conventional radiation therapy. This allows the doctor to focus and even amplify the dose to the tumor while further minimizing the side effects of the radiation treatment.

Tell us about your hobbies. What do you like to do?

As a kid growing up I had tons of hobbies: collecting sports cards, playing video games, chasing ants with my magnifying glass, etc, etc.  As a proud father of two children, my hobbies have taken a back seat. I do enjoy spending time with my family, playing sports, and occasionally escaping into the mountains where I can be a kid again.

Tell us something surprising about you.

Being that I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, people are surprised to hear that I despise large trucks, I have never worn a cowboy hat, and I have always wanted to play ice hockey!

Whom do you look up to, and why?

My parents are definitely a source of inspiration for me. I have always admired their dedication and sacrifice for their children. Thomas Jefferson once said, “‘If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done.” I constantly remind myself of this quote in my pursuit of personal and professional growth, and admire those who have elevated themselves to meet their own challenges.