Debra Ann Ferman, MD
Debra Ann Ferman, MD
Attending Physician, Queens Cancer Center
NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens
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Motivated by Her Patients
When Dr. Debra Ferman left private practice in hematology and oncology to join the cancer center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, “it seemed like heaven on earth,” she says. “I was able to give state of the art treatment to traditionally underserved patients with a wide range of disease pathology. I felt like a citizen of the world, caring for patients with different backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures.”
Dr. Ferman has been an integral member of the team at the Queens Cancer Center since her arrival in 2015 and has made a mark by reshaping the hospital’s approach to patients with sickle cell disease in ways that have made their care more coordinated and effective while significantly reducing the need to admit those in acute painful crisis. In 2019, the Queens Sickle Cell Advocacy Network honored Dr. Ferman with its Leadership and Dedicated Service Award.
“Dr. Ferman is the quintessential physician: knowledgeable, hard-working, dedicated, caring and compassionate,” says the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jasmin Moshirpur. “Her passion and advocacy for her patients are remarkable.”
For her part, Dr. Ferman says she’s motivated by her patients. “They have taught me so much. Seeing their physical and mental suffering, seeing death and dying, I’ve learned that showing compassion can be very therapeutic, not only for the patient but also for the doctor. It is a privilege to serve my patients and their families and be a part of their lives during a time of uncertainty and stress. And when I see my patients recover their health, I’m joyful.”
Dr. Ferman is especially proud of the work she and her colleagues did to keep the Cancer Center open in the difficult early months of the pandemic. “Despite sparse staff with many falling ill each day, we were able to continue cancer care during a very isolating and uncertain time,” Dr. Ferman says. “We were available to guide our patients, continue chemotherapy treatments and see them in the clinic and hospital. I was very grateful to be able to come to work every day.”