‘In a Word’: Dr. Katharine Price on the pervasive kindness of the Mayo community, importance of showing up, more

This column spotlights the kinds of people you think about when you think about Mayo Clinic. They've answered questions, serious and otherwise, so you can know them better.

Katharine Price, M.D., was a freshly minted medical student in 1999 — when she arrived at what was then Mayo Medical School — now Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine.

Dr. Price, an oncologist who now specializes in head and neck cancers, went on to complete her residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and spent a year on staff in General Internal Medicine. She then moved to New York City to pursue an oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

But Mayo Clinic had its hold on her. She returned to Mayo Clinic in 2010 to become part of the staff in Medical Oncology.

One of my favorite things about Mayo Clinic: The pervasive kindness.

The single most important thing I did at work yesterday (or expect to do tomorrow): Help a patient cope with the uncertainty and distress of a cancer diagnosis.

A book I would recommend, or one I want to read: So many books to recommend. For a classic, Kafka's "The Trial" or "The Castle," or "Independent People" by Haldor Laxness, or the play "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett. For a modern novel to make you think, "Klara and the Sun" by Kazuo Ishiguro or "Milkman" by Anna Burns. For something fun and engaging to transport you to another world the "Shadow and Bone" trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.

Mayo Clinic has taught me: The power of kindness, listening and the importance of showing up and being present for patients and colleagues during difficult times even if you can't change the outcome or situation.

Most treasured or best advice from a colleague at Mayo: Find something you love and make it part of your work.

Most memorable Mayo moment: Years ago, my husband and I were hospitalized at the same time with two young kids at home and no immediate family present. Within an hour and without being asked, our house was full of our Mayo colleagues who took care of the kids, took care of the puppy, and held down the fort until our family could arrive. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.

If I could choose the "hold" music for Mayo Clinic: Classic French music like Edith Piaf.

Favorite space on campus: The Rodin statue in the Siebens Subway atrium.

People who inspire me: Jane Goodall, Dr. Rahma Warsame, Dr. Annie Sadosty.

The most fun I've had at work this year: The best days are when our retired colleague from Medical Oncology, Dr. Tim Moynihan, shows up on Gonda 10 with a duffel bag full of puppies. Instant joy.

Team Dr. Charlie or Team Dr. Will? Or Team Mother Alfred or Team Dr. W.W.: I think I have to say Team Mother Alfred for her vision, service and selflessness.

When patients recall their visit to Mayo Clinic, I hope they remember: The unique spirit of Mayo Clinic and the power of truly being cared for.