Dr. Guy Boike, MD
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Dr. Guy Boike joined the GRYT Health Advisory Board to support further the cancer patient-survivor community that he has served for the past 30 years as a gynecological oncologist. He primarily treats ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancers.
Guy is located in Bay City, Michigan. He has practices located in Bay City and Midland, Michigan. His family also owns property on Lake Charlevoix, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula, and Scottsdale, Arizona, where they enjoy spending time. When Guy was younger, he was a scuba diver, and he’d like to travel to the Greek islands and do some scuba diving while there. However, he is, in his words, “not a suitcase kind of guy,” so he prefers just to visit the properties that his family owns so he can relax and be with the people he cares about in a home environment. He says he’s past the exploration phase of his life and is more into the enjoyment phase of life.
Guy sees patients with cancer every day, but his personal life has also been touched by cancer. His mother had lung cancer, and his wife’s mother had breast cancer. One of his best friends experienced pancreatic cancer also.
Guy and his wife currently have no pets. His wife recently had to say so long to their 14-year-old dog. They have had cats and dogs in the past. Guy’s wife is his biggest supporter both personally and professionally as she is a recently retired nurse anesthetist. They have 5 children and a couple of grandchildren. Guy also has 5 brothers and 2 sisters with a bunch of nieces and nephews. He rounds out his support system with a vast network of friends.
Dr. Boike received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He proceeded to Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, for medical school and residency as an obstetrician and gynecologist. Then, he went to the University of Miami in Florida, where he did a gynecological oncology fellowship. His first appointment as Associate Professor was for Northwestern University, where he was for 3 years during residency. He then moved to Flint, Saginaw, and is now in Bay City, Michigan, private practice. He teaches residents in 2 different OB/GYN programs through Central Michigan University and Michigan State University. Since his fellowship, Guy has been heavily involved in national and group clinical studies and has been deeply interested in the patient experience studies that GRYT Health coordinates.
Early on in the existence of GRYT Health, Guy started out being an angel investor in the company, making a commitment and following the company’s progress. Gradually Guy became more involved after having several conversations with founder David Craig. He attended several presentations of David’s. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Guy has been active in The Advocacy Exchange and has been concerned about and involved with the impact of the pandemic on cancer screenings. He has participated in one of the Global Virtual Cancer Conferences and recently joined the Advisory Board.
One of the main reasons Guy decided to join the GRYT Health efforts is that he finds the patient voice very interesting. During his medical training, he had the opportunity to work with a world-famous physician. The biggest lesson Guy took away from a rotation with that person is that they did not have a great report with the patients despite being a wonderful person. Guy always tried to be friendly with his patients. He would write notes in their charts to remind himself of various things about their lives so he could bring them up in conversation at visits later on. He would do his best to include his patients in the discussions about their treatment plans. Thirty-five years ago, when Guy started practicing, medicine was viewed differently, and a lot has changed over the years. Guy has attended some of the GRYT Health Member Meetups to hear more from patients, and he reads books on the topic. He is interested in expanding and amplifying the patient voice, and he feels that his involvement with GRYT Health can be a vehicle for that to happen. Guy also feels like GRYT Health has an opportunity to help shape the way physicians and other providers interact with patients.
Guy loves the idea of a digital health company and believes that GRYT Health is beginning to take full advantage of where we are now with the access to technology and the ongoing state of the pandemic. The use of the internet and social media to develop and sustain supportive communities is exciting. Guy believes we’re on the verge of filling significant gaps in healthcare and healthcare support. He says that what GRYT Health does is an excellent service to people with cancer, and we’re making it even more accessible to everyone than ever before.
Like many other physicians, Guy believes that telemedicine will not go away now either. He believes that it will become a much more accessible option for people going forward and that the medical community has the pandemic to thank for that. However, the medical community will still need to address disparities with the further development of telemedicine because not everyone has access to reliable internet or electronic devices. Guy would like to see GRYT Health involved in some research regarding telemedicine.
Guy believes that medicine is a great equalizer and that he was raised to use his voice. He came from humble beginnings. His family had a farm, and his grandfather was a truck driver. They didn’t have access to higher education because they needed to work to help support their family. Guy was always encouraged to become educated and speak up to help others, especially when it came to healthcare. He likes to use his voice to be honest and give accurate information to help people make their choices.
In medical school, Guy was drawn to oncology out of interest, and he wanted to pursue being an OB/GYN because he had a lot of powerful female role models in his family. His great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and aunts were all very strong women. It seemed natural to him to follow that path to honor their legacy and influence on his life. In the beginning, every patient seemed to remind him of someone. As he got older, they reminded him less of the generations ahead of him and more of the ones behind him, but the feeling was the same.
Dr. Boike would like to do more work with GRYT Health in the future as he thinks of retiring from daily practice. He feels like the ways to practice medicine are changing and that companies like GRYT Health have the opportunity to help facilitate that change and at least show healthcare providers and legislators how the new healthcare laws should be written. Guy would like to see patient advocacy inserted into the training of various oncologists as a required course to make them aware of the patient voice not just for the purposes of including the patient in treatment plans, but also as a consultant and including them in the process of research. He mused, “Maybe we’ll do a study on people in training about the value of being exposed to the patient voice, like what you would hear in a support group, and having discussions about it as part of their training curriculum.”
The biggest strength that Guy believes he brings to his role with GRYT Health is his 30 years of experience in research and clinical oncology practice. As an advisor, he’d like to be able to help facilitate GRYT Health to more success by helping to increase revenue so that we can expand our community services to our GRYT Health community. He would like to see some of this success spill over into the training of oncologists and move patient advocacy forward within the healthcare system.
Guy and his wife enjoy kayaking and paddleboarding, especially when they are in Lake Charlevoix, Michigan. He is also an avid golfer and walker. He tries to work some sort of active pursuit daily. The pair has also played in a blues band for about 10 years. Guy plays harmonica, keyboard, and guitar. The band consists of several administrators, IT personnel, and physicians from the hospital where he works, and they often play for fundraisers and charity events.