Caring for Cancer - Meet Dr. Sandra Wajstaub
With International Women's Day approching, we want to introduce you to an inspiring woman working hard to care for patients in the Cape Breton Cancer Centre, Dr. Sandra Wajstaub. Here is her story:
Auburn hair falls over the shoulders of Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Sandra Wajstaub as she sits at her desk in the Cape Breton Cancer Centre. A large bookcase with a broad array of medical books fills her office.
Born in Manitoba, Dr. Wajstaub started her career as a professional ballerina. Fitness and dance have been a great part of her life from a young age. After gracing the stage as a ballerina, Dr. Wajstaub’s interests focused on the business world; she graduated with an MBA and worked in finance for many years. She worked for Treasury Board in Ottawa and in Manitoba and taught corporate finance at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. After careers in dance, government, and academia, Sandra entered medical school at the University of Western Ontario at the age of 41 and realized her longstanding dream of becoming a doctor, proving it is never too late to follow your dreams.
Dr. Wajstaub came to Cape Breton in 2011 and is continually inspired by the grace, strength and spirit of her patients. Because the Cape Breton Cancer Centre has such a large volume of patients, she admits the one thing she wishes she could do is to spend more one on one time with each patient, saying, “I feel privileged to be part of my patients’ journey”.
She smiles as she ensures that the staff in the Cape Breton Cancer Centre is among some of the best across the country, stating, “They would bend over backwards for the patients here.” And this is true of Dr. Wajstaub as well; she says her goal as a doctor is to leave the world a better place than it was before she began.
Whether it is through medicine, dance, sports, or committee work, both locally and nationally, Dr. Wajstaub admits, “I am passionate about everything I do.”
And when asked how it feels to be the only female Radiation Oncologist in the Centre, her eyes lit up as she said, “I don’t see myself as a female Radiation Oncologist, I am a Radiation Oncologist – and it feels great.”