Meet Dr. Gonzalez
Ricardo Gonzalez, MD
Moffitt Chair of the Sarcoma Department
Dr. Gonzalez doesn’t go to work at Moffitt Cancer Center. Sounds strange, but the way he sees it, he goes to Moffitt solely to help people. And when you love what you do every single day, it isn’t really work.
As Chair of the Sarcoma Department and Chief of Surgery, he deals with patients facing some of the toughest cancer challenges. But first he sees them as human beings. “I can’t really make decisions without understanding their perspective and what their goals are,” he explains. “My job every day is focused on them.”
Dr. Gonzalez believes his philosophy of wanting to do more for others was shaped by his high school years as a Jesuit student. It was at this time that he became interested in science and was later invited by a local surgeon to observe an actual operation. But he soon realized what appealed to him most was the chance to develop a long-term relationship with patients.
Equally pivotal was a neighbor who was diagnosed with—and unfortunately died from—lung cancer. “It was at a time when we didn’t have the advances we have today and that kind of made me mad,” he recalls. “I wanted to do something better.”
Dr. Gonzalez is humbled by the courage he sees in his patients. “They will look you right in the eye and say ‘I trust you,’” he says. “It takes courage and faith to understand that the unknown is before you.”
He also feels the pride of being a part of a Moffitt team that has come so far, so fast. “Moffitt has done more in 30 years than most places have done in a hundred,” Dr. Gonzalez asserts. “It’s a privilege for me to be part of something that’s really great and that’s only going to get better.”