From MIT to medicine: The story of Dr. Angela Mislowsky

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Dr. Angela Mislowsky speaks at the 2018 "In The Pink" Breast Cancer Awareness Walk.

Dr. Angela Mislowsky speaks at the 2018 "In The Pink" Breast Cancer Awareness Walk.

Dr. Angela Mislowsky was at a crossroads.
A student at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Mislowsky had spent the last several years studying engineering with some of the nation’s top minds. Now, she had to decide if she wanted to pursue a graduate degree in biomedical engineering or attend medical school.
Fortunately for the many patients she’s since helped, Dr. Mislowsky chose medical school at New York Medical College, ultimately completing her medical training with a residency at Union Memorial Hospital and a fellowship in breast oncology and surgery at the Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania.
“Medical school was such a change from undergraduate engineering – almost a 180-degree difference. I didn’t really have time to reconsider my decision,” she says. “I found a path that I liked the best. Something was always grabbing me.”
Dr. Mislowsky has continued to feel drawn to her work since joining forces with fellow breast surgeon Dr. Craig Brackett at the Tidelands Health Breast Center, the region’s only surgery practice dedicated solely to breast health. The center is part of the Tidelands Health Cancer Care Network, an affiliate of MUSC Health and the region’s most comprehensive provider of cancer care.

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Individualized care

At the breast center, Dr. Mislowsky said patients will find a “less is more” philosophy centered around helping patients beat breast cancer while minimizing the impact on their lives and bodies.
“We’re tailoring treatments to each patient individually,” she says. “No patient is the same as the one who came before them, whether their cancer looks the same or not. Treatments are much more individualized than generalized.”
Early hopes for that type of patient care influenced her decision to pursue a career in medicine rather than research, she says. The trend was evident during her time at MIT while shadowing an oncologist and then with a breast cancer specialist during her third year of medical school.
She also enjoys the relationships she builds with her patients as they battle cancer and then continue with follow-up care afterward.
“That’s what sold me,” she says. “We don’t treat a patient and never see them again. They are pretty much our patients for life.”
Finding balance in her own life has allowed her work to prosper, as well.

Dr. Mislowsky during a recent trip to Iceland.

Dr. Mislowsky during a recent trip to Iceland.

Never big into the salt life or fishing, Dr. Mislowsky moved to the area in October 2010. Yet, although she loved the beach, she didn’t immediately fall in love with all things water. Soon after, though, she met her now-husband, Scott Cook, a longtime fisherman, boat captain and shrimper.
Their professions couldn’t be more different, but Dr. Mislowsky appreciates the dynamic because it allows her to shift gears when she gets home.
“Sometimes, you want to talk about work when you get home because you had a bad day. It’s nice to have someone who can just listen,” Dr. Mislowsky says. “It helps give me the energy and strength I need to go back in every day to support our patients.”

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