Meet Our Team

Meet Mark Agulnik, MD

Originally published June 30, 2024

Last updated July 1, 2024

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dr. Agulnik is a medical oncologist at Keck Medicine of USC who specializes in caring for patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas.

Here’s what you won’t find on his resume.

He is an avid marathon runner.

“Aside from spending quality time with my family, outside of work I am most likely to spend my time running. I was inspired to participate in my first marathon in 2000, and I have not stopped since.

Running is a form of meditation for me, and it also allows me to explore my city and neighborhood. In addition, I love that running allows me the time and space to process my day and prepare for the days ahead.”

He’s a Canada native.

“I grew up in Montreal, and now as an adult I love visiting Quebec City. It’s my favorite travel destination because it’s a vibrant and exciting city with spectacular food and architecture. It’s a little slice of Europe in North America.”

A mentor taught him to trust his instincts.

“The best advice I’ve ever received came from my mentor at the University of Toronto. She taught me to listen to my gut.

She encouraged me to trust the skills I acquired during training and to rely on my medical knowledge and intuition when treating patients or cultivating my clinical research projects. While not always easy to put into practice, this advice has always led me in the right direction.”

Patients inspire him.

“I always tell people I have the best job because I get to meet the most amazing people — my patients and their families. I am always inspired, amazed and in awe of their courage, perseverance and tremendous generosity.

Being part of their sarcoma journey is an honor. Their joy for life, and immense honesty as they deal with medical hardship, teaches me something every day.”

His message to medical students.

“Find something you love and are passionate about pursuing. Medicine is diverse, and there are countless opportunities. To work in oncology is a gift, but it has to match your personality because it is a challenging specialty.”

He is passionate about teaching and learning.

“I chose to practice at an academic medical center because of the emphasis on education and growth. I value the opportunity to teach medical students, residents, fellows and junior faculty members. In return, I am able to learn from their enthusiasm and new ideas and approaches.”

Keck Medicine stands out for its exceptional team.

“Working at Keck Medicine allows me to be surrounded by colleagues and friends who are some of the most compassionate, curious and intelligent people I know. Collectively as a group, we share a common goal to advance the field of medicine, and the drive to achieve that goal is awe-inspiring.

Our multidisciplinary sarcoma team is a large group of providers with unique backgrounds and experiences. Our depth of knowledge and clinical research capabilities in sarcoma are unmatched in Southern California.”

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