By Jonesa Rodriguez - March 09, 2023
At Moffitt Cancer Center, the faculty members play a critical role in all aspects of patient care. Their bench-to-bedside approach fuels breakthroughs that have an impact on patients, bringing the cancer center one step closer to its mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.
The annual Faculty Appreciation and Recognition Ceremony honors Moffitt faculty for their outstanding achievements across the cancer center. Several awards are given to those who continue to move the needle forward and break barriers in cancer care.
The top award, the Charles C. Williams Jr. Physician of the Year, is given to a member of the medical staff who truly embodies the finest qualities of a physician.
This year's recipient is Dr. Michael Nieder, a senior member of the Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy Department and medical director of the Cell Therapy Facility, who has been with Moffitt for 11 years. His research focuses on developing improved supportive care practices to enhance survival and quality of life after transplant.
Nieder says he feels honored, grateful and humbled to be selected by his peers for the award.
“This is the most prestigious award that I have ever received. To be recognized by the people with whom I work daily means a lot to me,” said Nieder. “My peers know my strengths and weaknesses and certainly are aware of all my shortcomings. To be honored by those who know you the best is the most accurate and realistic measure of success.”
Nieder says the secret to his success is caring deeply.
“Nothing is more important than caring. It takes a while to find the right path in one’s career. I have had great mentors, a wonderful family, supportive colleagues and have sometimes been in the right place at the right time,” he said. “But, I’ve always cared deeply about the patients and my work. I’ve always wanted to be better.”
Excellent service has always been Nieder’s passion and a goal he set when joining the transplant team at Moffitt.
“When I first joined Moffitt, my goal was to improve the supportive care of our BMT patients, increase collaboration with our advanced practice providers and improve the BMT fellowship experience,” said Nieder. “When I became Medical Director in 2017, I became more focused on improving outcomes and collaborating with our Nursing and Pharmacy partners.”
As a physician, Nieder says the most important lesson he has learned from almost every patient is that they will exceed everyone's expectations with courage, strength and a strong partnership with their care team. His more than 40 years as a physician has certainly affirmed this belief.
To those who may want to follow a similar path, Nieder’s advice is summed up in the quote, “Veritas vos liberabit,” which means the truth will make you free. It’s his college motto and he is guided by this nearly every day.
“I believe you have to be true to yourself. You cannot follow someone else’s path. You have to decide what you want to be, what you want to accomplish and what accomplishments will be the most meaningful to you,” said Nieder. “You don’t need to be the best of the best. For me, I just wanted to be the best that I could be.”