I wrote this post some time ago. I had noticed how many times on the various prostate cancer message boards that patients got their diagnosis, made a decision and then went elsewhere. In many of the discussions the “biopsy urologist” was never mentioned, a technician so to speak.
A couple of things. Why not keep the lines of communication open with the original urologist? He or she might be a good resource for the future. In general I don’t think the urologist is “upset,” ” offended,” or “disappointed” if you do something else other than his recommendation, or done by someone else other that him or her. I really believe this, yet I know it’s not true for all. So no reason to burn a bridge. If you have to go out-of-town to be treated (no matter what the treatment) you’d have to agree that it would be an advantage to have someone local in whom you have a good relationship. Just a few days ago a patient said he may to go to Miami for HIFU. He said he’d only have to spend the night and that the urologist there had done over 3,000 of these procedures. He would have to fly there from the Atlanta area. And then he said this, ” They will be putting a tube into my abdomen to the bladder and bypassing the urethra. I will be taking it out at five days.” Now… in medicine tubes are tricky. In my book I state an old urologic adage, ” Don’t buy shoes in the morning and don’t pull tubes at night.”
If there is a problem with voiding when the tube is removed, and your doctor is in Miami and you are in Atlanta… you get the drift. Maintain that working relationship and as in this case, I quickly offered to be of service if there were problems with his recovery when he got back. That has been established “before” the problems and I was appreciative of his calling me with his plans. It was a “courtesy call” so to speak.
A patient comes to mind of mine that chose radiation to treat his cancer. This was years ago. He had his treatment in the Atlanta area and had all sorts of urinary problems early on, which in time abated. I bet I either spoke to him or saw him thirty times in the course of two years.
I have never had a more grateful or appreciative patient in my career. He must have referred at least a hundred patients to me. I went fishing on the lake near his home and his wife made breakfast for me and my brother. I have said to him and others many times that ” my closest patients and the ones that refer me the most friends and family are the ones I don’t operate on.”
One comment made by a patient on this blog (see if you can find it) mentioned that he’d been on three continents and had trouble finding a suitable urologist. I hope it is not that hard. Am I being somewhat blind to the difficulties that patients face and the problems of how urologists or doctors in general are perceived?
What has been your experience? What was the fate of your “biopsy urologist?”
My brother wrote neat little songs. One he wrote about cars. I’ll get and put on this post later. But the analogy of the car and you urologist comes to mind.
Be kind to your car.
Take care of your ride.
Make a … big a…deal
out of those wheels.
Be kind to your car.