PINEHURST – With every one of his patients, Michael J. Sundborg, M.D., wants the patient to be in control of her disease. Each has been diagnosed with a form of gynecological cancer.
“The patient is the captain of her team,” Dr. Sundborg says. “I tend to listen to my patients.”
The latest addition to the FirstHealth of the Carolinas cancer care team, Dr. Sundborg is the area’s first gynecologic oncologist. To get the scope of the care he provides, patients previously had to travel to Chapel Hill, Durham, Wilmington or Charlotte. They can now get university-quality care in a private practice setting.
“The ability to offer the full spectrum of women’s cancer care in the region, that’s a big plus for women who have cancer,” Dr. Sundborg says.
With his FirstHealth affiliation, Dr. Sundborg has an office at the Southern Pines Women’s Health Center, a FirstHealth clinic, in Pinehurst’s Turnberry Woods. He also provides chemotherapy infusion therapy at the FirstHealth Outpatient Cancer Center on the campus of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital and will eventually offer follow-up care at a FirstHealth location in Fayetteville.
Except for radiation oncology, his services cover the full scope of gynecological cancer care – diagnosis, surgery, medical oncology, surveillance and supportive care. He has also performed some of the area’s first-ever robotics procedures for gynecologic cancer.
His ability to offer patients the same state-of-the-art therapy they would receive at the country’s leading cancer centers is also complemented by FirstHealth’s Clinical Trials program.
Daniel Barnes, D.O., president of the FirstHealth Physician Group, expects Dr. Sundborg to have an important impact on women’s cancer care in the Sandhills region.
“We are very excited for Dr. Sundborg to join our health care community,” he says. “His specialized training will allow many women to receive local care for their cancer. He is a wonderful addition to our team.”
Before retiring from the military in June, Dr. Sundborg had spent 33 years in the U.S. Army, completing his service as a colonel in the Army Medical Corps. Since December, he had worked part time with Southern Pines Women’s Health Center while also serving as chief of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and director of medical education at Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg.
He was sent to Fort Bragg in 2009 to start a new residency site for obstetrics and gynecology that opened last year with a class that included the military’s top three OB/GYN residents.
The son of a soldier, Dr. Sundborg was born in Fort Campbell, Ky., and enlisted in the military at Fort Bragg. He earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Fayetteville’s Methodist College and his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. He interned at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., under John Byron, M.D., now of the Southern Pines Women’s Health Center.
Dr. Sundborg completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology with the National Capital Area Consortium in Obstetrics and Gynecology comprised by Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center. He was fellowship trained in gynecologic oncology at the National Capital Area Consortium in Obstetrics and Gynecology program that includes the National Cancer Institute as well as Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center.
From 1998 to 2001, Dr. Sundborg was a teaching fellow in the F. Hebert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University, where he continues to serve as an assistant professor.
Dr. Sundborg is married to Megan J. DiFurio, M.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They have three young children – ages 8, 5 and 4 – and make their home on a farm outside Carthage.