Katherine Kopkash, MD

Assistant Professor
Department of General Surgery, Rush Medical College
Role: Clinician
Joined Rush in November 2013


I am a breast oncoplastic surgeon, and I manage benign and malignant diseases of the breast. My practice is focused on incorporating plastic surgery techniques into oncologic surgeries. Through this work, I give my patients the best outcomes with the goal of providing the best quality of life. I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, and I am the Director of Oncoplastic Breast Surgery at Rush.

What inspired you to get into your field?

I was interested in the research that was being performed in breast cancer surgery and was impressed by the incorporation of new evidence into clinical practice. I like the long-term relationships I am able to form with patients and the ability to cure cancer with surgery.

What excited you about your work at Rush?

Rush provides an excellent opportunity for cutting-edge research and clinical trials with the support of a fantastic, multi-disciplinary breast cancer team. My colleagues in oncology, radiation, plastic surgery, and breast imaging are superb, and they encourage and motivate the work I am doing in my field.

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

My senior partner, Dr. Tom Witt, is the reason I chose breast cancer surgery as a career as a medical student, and his mentorship as a junior faculty has been instrumental to my success. I have had the pleasure of working with physicians, administrators, and nurses throughout the institution that are willing to share their time and talents to help us provide the best care possible for our patients but also to help support the career of a young surgeon.

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

I am so blessed to get to do what I do. I encourage anyone considering this field to shadow/volunteer/study this specialized area of surgery to see if it is the right fit for them. This type of work can be emotionally and physically exhausting at times, but I guarantee you that nothing is more rewarding than a happy patient who is cancer free and thrilled with how they look!

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

I love vinyasa yoga and traveling, be it international travel or just exploring new areas of Chicago. I spend my free time with my wonderful family, my husband and my two little boys, as well as with my fantastic friends and my extended family.