November Physician of the Month: Robert Merritt

Robert Merritt

Through surgical expertise, early detection promotion and collaboration with colleagues, Robert Merritt, MD, is saving the lives of cancer patients in central Ohio.

Get to know our November Physician of the Month:

Maximum expertise in minimal surgery

“As a thoracic surgeon at The James, I perform minimally-invasive surgeries to remove lung and esophageal cancers. I work with a team of oncologists and radiation specialists to deliver care to patients, and I have a special interest in robotic-assisted surgery.”

A culture of care

“I enjoy working at The James because of the excellent culture. I work with a large team of nurses, physicians and advance practice providers to deliver outstanding care to our patients.”

Partnering with patients

“I really enjoy providing care to cancer patients in central Ohio. Many of our patients at The James travel a great distance to come to Columbus to receive their care – they sometimes have to take days off from work at a great financial cost and be away from family and friends. Knowing the great sacrifices some of our patients make to come here motivates me even more to deliver the best care.”

All signs pointed to surgery

“I knew that I wanted to be a surgeon after I entered medical school. I excelled at human anatomy and I was intrigued by surgical oncology. I worked in a thoracic surgery research lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a resident and worked with a group of excellent thoracic surgeons who inspired me to pursue a career specializing in oncology.”

“A special obligation”

“I feel a special obligation to provide the best possible care for each patient. I believe in providing specialized care for individual patients based on their specific disease characteristics, medical comorbidities and their cultural backgrounds.”

Screening to save lives

“I am a vocal proponent for lung cancer screening. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths because the disease is often diagnosed at later stages. Early detection of lung cancer can significantly improve overall survival for lung cancer, and screening has demonstrated a substantial benefit for patients with risk factors. I have worked with lung cancer researchers who are currently looking for circulating biomarkers in blood which may assist with detection.”