Was there a moment when you knew you had chosen the right field?
Choosing a field in medicine is a little like jumping off a cliff with your eyes open. You make a decision about the rest of your life with very limited clinical experience and without exposure to many other fields. I don’t remember having an exact moment when I knew I had made the right choice. However, I love what I do and I can’t really imagine myself in any other field. [Urology] is a specialty that addresses such a broad range of conditions. In one morning, I may treat bladder cancer, kidney stones, prostate issues and women with urinary incontinence. One day, I’m busy in clinic, and the next day, I have a different focus when I’m in the operating room. That variety keeps things fresh.
What is the most common misconception about your job?
I imagine there are quite a few! You definitely need a sense of humor to be a urologist. I think one of the most frequent questions I get is whether men will see a woman in the urology office. I tell them yes, we have both male and female urologists who treat both male and female patients.
What has been the most significant change in your practice since you began?
There have actually been quite a few in the 11 years I have been in practice. I think the biggest change is probably the controversy about PSA testing [prostate cancer screening]. Previously, this was a mainstay of urologic practice and now it is a serious discussion that I have with many patients. Also, so much of what I do surgically has evolved since my training. Most exciting has been the increase in the number of treatment options and procedures for many conditions.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
Many of the health problems I deal with are embarrassing for people to talk about. For a lot of patients, I am the first person they really feel they can be honest with about their issues. It is so rewarding to be able to tell someone, “I can help, we can make this better, you don’t have to live this way.”