50 Heroes: Dr. W. Paul Bowman
“The temptation is to tell patients, ‘Oh, you are going to be fine’ because they are frightened and you want them to feel better,” Dr. Bowman said. “But you must be honest. And when you talk to the child, you talk on their level. You sit down, and you do not tower over them.”
As a pediatric oncologist, Dr. Bowman has spent more than 36 years in Fort Worth treating children in their most vulnerable states with excellence and compassion. As HSC Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, he has prepared medical students to provide the same extraordinary care to children with cancer.
The son of a prominent Canadian pediatrician, Dr. Bowman pioneered the first pediatric bone marrow transplants for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the old Cook Children’s Hospital and directed a program focused on quality of life issues for young survivors.
He joined HSC in 2008 because he was impressed by the skill and potential of TCOM students who trained and observed him at Cook Children’s. As an instructor and mentor, he emphasized the importance of communicating effectively with sick children and their parents.
Seeing former students evolve into excellent pediatric oncologists is one of his greatest joys, Dr. Bowman said. “For those of us in medical education, nothing gives us greater satisfaction than the people we hopefully influenced along the way.”