Skip to main content

Christopher Jensen, MD, MSCR, is a hematologist with interests in lymphoma and geriatric oncology. Originally from Rocky Mount, Dr. Jensen is looking forward to serving the people of the state. If he was not a physician he would have pursued a career as a historian, focusing on ancient history! 

 What brought you to UNC Medical Center?

I was drawn to UNC Medical Center due to its strong commitment to both excellent patient care and innovative research. The collaborative environment and multidisciplinary approach to treatment at UNC allow me to work closely with experts from various fields, enabling us to provide the best possible care for our patients. Additionally, UNC’s dedication to advancing knowledge in geriatric oncology and supportive care provides an ideal platform for my research interests.

Where are you from?

I am originally from Rocky Mount, in eastern North Carolina. Joining the UNC faculty, I am excited to have the opportunity to continue serving residents of my home state.

Did you always want to be a doctor?

While I have always had a strong interest in science and a deep desire to help people, it wasn’t until my own grandfather’s experience with acute leukemia that I realized my passion for medicine. This experience opened my eyes to the incredible impact that doctors can have on the lives of their patients and solidified my decision to pursue a career in medicine.

How did you choose your specialty?

I was drawn to hematology and oncology due to the complexity of the diseases and the opportunity to build long-term relationships with patients. During my clinical rotations, I became particularly interested in lymphoma and geriatric oncology, as I recognized the unique challenges faced by older adults and the potential for improving their care through tailored treatment approaches and supportive care.

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

The most rewarding aspect of my work is the privilege of getting to know my patients on a personal level and being a part of their healthcare journey. Witnessing the resilience and strength of my patients, and seeing the positive impact that our care can have on their lives, is truly inspiring and drives me to continually strive for excellence in my practice.

What are some of the new developments in your field of specialty?

Some of the recent developments in lymphoma and geriatric oncology include advances in targeted therapies and immunotherapies, improvements in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for older adults, and a growing understanding of the role of geriatric assessments in guiding treatment decisions. Additionally, there is increasing recognition of the importance of supportive care interventions in improving the quality of life for patients during and after treatment.

Is there a particular achievement (professional or personal) that has been most gratifying to you?

One of my most gratifying achievements has been the opportunity to lead a research study that focused on optimizing the care experience of older adults with blood cancers. This study not only contributed to the scientific knowledge in our field, but also led to tangible improvements in patient care, which has been incredibly fulfilling to witness.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever received is to always prioritize the well-being and needs of my patients above all else. This principle has guided my approach to patient care and research, ensuring that I remain focused on providing compassionate, evidence-based care tailored to each individual’s unique circumstances.

If you weren’t a physician, what would you like to be doing?

If I weren’t a physician, I would likely have pursued a career in academia or as a historian, focusing on ancient history. The rich and complex stories of our past have always fascinated me, and I believe that understanding history provides valuable insights into human nature, culture, and the development of societies.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

In my free time, I enjoy staying active through cycling and running, which offer both physical challenge and moments of tranquility. I also love engaging in board games with friends and family, and delving into the fascinating world of ancient history through books, as it provides valuable insights and broadens my understanding of our shared past.

Do you have a favorite quote or life motto?

A quote that has always resonated with me and influenced my approach to medicine is by Francis W. Peabody: “The secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient.” This powerful statement serves as a constant reminder of the importance of empathy, compassion, and genuine connection in patient care. It underscores the need to treat each patient holistically, addressing not only their medical needs but also their emotional, psychological, and social well-being.

What was the last book you read?

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky