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Leslie Kersun, MD,MSCE

Attending physician

Assistant professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

As the medical director for the Oncology Inpatient Unit, I am responsible for fostering safe and effective care. In partnership with the oncology nurse manager, I work to be consistent and family-centered. We collaborate to ensure that our care is of the highest quality, our operations are efficient, and there is open communication among staff and families.

I am the physician leader for many of our unit-based patient safety efforts. My job also involves the oversight of pediatric physician trainees and house physicians who work on the unit. It's my responsibility to make certain that they are properly oriented and educated, and that they carry out our mission of safe, effective, family-centered care.

My specific interest within oncology is the care of patients with newly diagnosed and relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma. As a member of our Leukemia/Lymphoma Steering Committee, I help to ensure that the clinical care of patients with this cancer at Children’s Hospital is consistent, carefully monitored and based upon results of the most current clinical research.

I also have a particular interest in the psychosocial aspects of care. The overall care of patients and families can be most effectively managed with an understanding of past experiences, coping skills and a consideration of additional resources that might be helpful to them during therapy. Throughout the process of diagnosis and treatment, I try to help children understand what is happening and what is most important for them to know. For adolescents and young adults, I allow them to work as independently as possible, while keeping the parents involved. These clinical interests have led to research collaborations with colleagues in psychology, psychiatry and social work. My previous and current research interests include evaluation of depression and anxiety in adolescent cancer patients and working to better understand needs of our adolescent and young adult patients.

I also spend time on clinical research related to symptom management, infections in oncology patients and the communication of challenging information to patients and families. I have a very strong interest in communication, and I have taken additional training in this area. I use the skills that I have learned in teaching and curriculum development for pediatric trainees and medical students.

Along with our wide range of clinical and laboratory research at Children's Hospital, one of the strongest aspects of our program is the depth of experience and knowledge of our team members. We have a hardworking, motivated, multidisciplinary group who works well together. We are always trying to improve the state of safe, clinical cancer care for our patients and families.


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