Cristina O’Donoghue, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor
Department of Surgery, Rush Medical College
Role: Clinician, Faculty and Researcher
Joined Rush in 2017


I am a surgical oncologist with a special interest in the treatment of soft tissue malignancies, including melanoma, sarcoma and breast cancer. I have particular experience with techniques for the treatment of advanced malignancies, including regional therapies for unresectable limb and liver melanoma and sarcoma, intralesional injection therapies, intraoperative radiation and advanced robotic surgery. I obtained my MPH in health economics and policy from the Harvard School of Public Health, and my research focuses on health services, including clinical decision-making and the costs of cancer care.

What inspired you to get into your field?

Surgical oncology is a constantly-evolving field, and I love the challenges it provides as well as the opportunities to offer patients the most advanced treatments for their cancer. I also love the personal connections that I am able to forge with my patients as I help them navigate their cancer treatments.

What excited you about your work at Rush?

Rush truly is a patient-centered, academic institution with great colleagues.

What is your opinion of mentoring and sponsorship? Please comment about your experiences.

None of us would be where we are today without our mentors, and if I am ever able to help a student, resident or colleague expand his or her career, I will take the opportunity without hesitation. As a junior faculty member, I believe that this is one of the most critical points in one’s medical career to have a mentor.

Do you have tips or advice you would recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?

Understand your path, and find a good mentor to help you navigate it. Despite all the challenges, I am incredibly grateful to be a surgical oncologist.

What are your hobbies? How do you like to spend your free time?

I like doing yoga and trying to keep up with my five-year-old.