After medical school in Ireland and an oncology fellowship in 1995 at Johns Hopkins, Rima Couzi, M.D., knew that she wanted to focus on breast cancer. She was attracted to the idea of helping other women through their cancer journeys. After her two sisters developed breast cancer, Couzi had a renewed focus on leading the fight against this disease.
“It’s a personal motivator for me to do the best I can for every patient in front of me,” she says.
Couzi returns to the Kimmel Cancer Center in January 2019 with an impressive depth of experience that includes treating thousands of breast cancer patients over the last two decades at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Group. Her goal is to use the knowledge she gained to develop customized treatment plans for breast cancer patients.
She will be based primarily at the Kimmel Cancer Center’s Greenspring Station location, where her practice will focus on evidence-based care and access to clinical trials.
Beyond caring for patients with acute disease, Couzi notes that much of her work has focused on the issues that arise with survivorship. These may include residual side effects from treatment, worries about the risk of recurrence, side effects of hormonal therapy and other ongoing issues.
“Because the prognosis of most breast cancers is quite good, we have a lot more survivors in breast cancer compared to many other types of cancer,” she says. “Our clinics rapidly fill with survivors. Every breast cancer patient has specific medical issues, along with unique concerns and emotions. My job as a clinical oncologist is to support my patients during this complex journey.” Tracie Cline, 25, spent her whole life in