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Personalizing care with genetics: Dr. Etkin-Kramer and Dana’s Story

Bridget McDonough

Dr. Etkin-Kramer (left) and Dana Greenwald (right)

The doctor-patient relationship is often thought of as a thing of the past. Most of us live very busy lives and spending time discussing our health with our physician is not always our top priority, especially when we’re not sick. At least that’s what I thought. When I first met Dr. Elizabeth Etkin-Kramer, I was quickly proven wrong.

Dr. Etkin-Kramer has been a practicing OB/GYN in Miami Beach for 25 years. She has held multiple leadership and educator roles in the medical community, and is highly respected by her peers; however, what really stands out about her is the dedication to her patients and the investment she puts into building strong relationships with each of them. Her patients trust her. They know she is passionate about prevention and that her goal is to genuinely make sure her patients are the healthiest versions of themselves.

I was lucky enough to meet one of her amazing patients, Dana Greenwald. Within seconds I witnessed the bond between Dr. Etkin-Kramer and Dana, and I saw the importance of what that bond between doctor and patient really means.

Dana’s trust in Dr. Etkin-Kramer’s care led her to follow through with the recommendation to get genetic testing. Through the testing, Dana discovered she carried the BRCA2 gene mutation, putting her at a much higher than average chance of developing cancer.

After learning this information, Dana and Dr. Etkin-Kramer worked together to create a plan — which ultimately revealed Dana had ovarian cancer. Because of Dr. Etkin-Kramer’s guidance, Dana was able to catch her cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage. And for this, she credits Dr. Etkin-Kramer with saving her life.

I am honored to know both of these inspiring women and to share their powerful story.

More about Dr. Elizabeth Etkin-Kramer, MD, FACOG

In addition to practicing gynecology in Miami Beach, Dr. Etkin-Kramer is a strong advocate for genetic testing in the Jewish community. After learning that Ashkenazi Jews have a one-in-forty chance of inheriting a BRCA gene mutation that puts them at a high risk for developing cancer (especially breast and ovarian cancers), she started a non-profit organization called Yodeah. Yodeah’s mission is to educate and facilitate cost-effective testing on genes associated with hereditary cancer in the Jewish community. Yodeah’s goal is to save lives. Knowledge is power. Knowledge saves lives.