Ryan Mayo, MD
Meet the Doctor

Meet the Doctor: Ryan Mayo, MD

By on 05/15/2023

Ryan Mayo, MD, is a hematologist and oncologist at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health. He sees patients at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia on Old York Road and Einstein Center One on Bustleton Avenue in Philadelphia. Dr. Mayo is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and hematology, and he has completed his fellowship in oncology.  

We recently spoke with Dr. Mayo about his career, his interests and oncology/hematology at Jefferson Health. 

Q: Why did you decide to become a doctor? 

A: I have always been passionate about the science of cancer. I was exposed to it while I was young through my mother’s work at a pharmaceutical company. I was uncertain whether I wanted to pursue a career focused on science or medicine. Then in college, I volunteered at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, working with patients. It was then that I knew that I wanted my career to involve patient care.  

Q: Tell us about your education background.   

A: I completed my undergraduate studies in cellular and molecular biology at Drexel University and continued at Drexel University College of Medicine. After medical school, I moved to Allentown for my internal medicine residency and hematology and oncology fellowship at Lehigh Valley Health Network. 

Q: Why did you choose your specialty? 

A: When I was growing up, my mother was working on a project for a new cancer treatment. She would come home from work and tell me what she learned about this treatment and how it worked. I was fascinated with the science of cancer. Then as I got older, and discovered I liked the patient care aspect of medicine, I knew that I wanted to practice hematology/oncology. 

Q: What are your clinical interests? 

A: Right now, I am a generalist in hematology/oncology. I am most familiar with colon, pancreas and liver cancers. I see a wide variety of non-cancer hematology cases as well. As I continue to develop my practice, I will see if I am drawn to a certain area of the field. 

Q: What drew you to Jefferson? 

A: I spent a lot of my life in Philadelphia. I rotated at Einstein when I was a medical student and remembered enjoying the time here. The practice allows me to teach fellows, residents, and medical students, and has a good mixture of inpatient and outpatient work. It had everything that I wanted in a practice.  

Q: What’s new in oncology/hematology at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center? 

A: This is an ever-changing field. New regimens, drugs and treatment options are available every year. Our group is very good at keeping up with the new regimens and incorporating them into patient care.  

One of the most exciting types of treatment we are using now is the combination of immunotherapy with chemotherapy. The thought is to use chemotherapy to kill the tumor cells, then to have the immune system revved up to attack the remaining tumor cells using the dead cells to target them. There are multiple ongoing trials looking into different combinations of these medications or adding immunotherapy to standard treatments. 

Q: What are your interests outside of work? 

A: I like to run, be active, watch sports and try new restaurants. Currently, I am training for the Love Run in Philadelphia. It will be my third time doing this half marathon, and I’m hoping to break the two-hour mark. Additionally, I like to read, mostly sci-fi and fantasy, watch live performances, and play board games and video games.  

Q: Who was an early role model for you?  

A: My mom was one of my earliest role models. She raised my sister, brother and me while getting her master’s degree and PharmD. To take care of three small children, work, and pursue her education goals at the same time is amazing. My father did help, but he was working full-time as well. 

Q: What is your favorite book? 

A: My favorite book is The Lord of the Rings. I know it’s a series, but it’s one continuous story. I had a large bound collection of all three books together when I was younger. I read that a few times through, and it is one of the only series that I have read multiple times. 

Q: What is your favorite movie? 

A: I have a few that come to mind as my favorite movies. If I had to pick one, I would go with Idiocracy. It is a satirical comedy that can be pretty on the nose with its predictions. 

Q: What is your favorite sports team? 

A: My favorite sports team is the Philadelphia Eagles. I am a third-generation season ticket holder. I started going to games back at the Vet and, excluding a few years during the pandemic, I have gone to multiple games each year since I was 4 years old. Go Birds! 

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