Observations BMJ Confidential

Deanna Attai: Operation Chocolate

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5072 (Published 08 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5072
Duncan Smith

Biography

Deanna Attai, 53, is a breast surgeon in Los Angeles who puts patient empowerment high on her priority list. Born to a New York medical family, she was educated at Vassar College and Georgetown University and practised in Virginia for five years before moving west in 1999. She was president of the American Society of Breast Surgeons during 2015-16 and is assistant clinical professor of surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles. Patient communication, she says, is “one of the joys of breast surgery and part of what drew me to the field.” She co-moderates Breast Cancer Social Media, a Twitter based breast cancer support group.

What was your earliest ambition?

I thought that the best job in the world was professional athlete. Unfortunately, I wasn’t good enough at any sport. However, I was good at science, and I was drawn to medicine probably because of my father’s influence. Once I got to medical school, surgery was the only specialty that really captivated me.

What was your best career move?

After four years at a large group practice in Washington, DC, I moved across the country …

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