‘My practice is based on some important principles – I always ask myself what I would consider to be important if I needed to see a specialist, and that is what I base my practice on.
- The patient is always at the centre of everything I do
- Be approachable
- Give time to my patients and listen carefully.
- Examine and assess thoroughly
- Give a frank opinion, but also ensure that the patient thoroughly understands what is going on – sometimes, understanding the basis of a medical problem and treatment is most important.
- Do the right thing for the patient
- Patients should only go down the treatment-route if their problem poses them sufficient symptoms or threat. Patients sometimes look surprised when I ask if their symptoms cause sufficient bother and then go on to explain that we do not need to start treatment as their symptoms do not cause much ‘bother’.
- Do not ‘over-investigate’
- Surgery should always be the last resort when all the non-surgical options have been exhausted, or if the symptoms are severe enough to warrant it.
- All patients newly diagnosed with a cancer must be fully discussed at the Urology Multidisciplinary Team Meeting (MDT). I am an active and core member of the Urology MDT in Gloucestershire and believe that all newly diagnosed cancer patients must have their case thoroughly reviewed. This is important for patients in order to ensure that their treatment is appropriate and ‘rubber-stamped’ by the MDT, and also provides reassurance. We have all heard of ‘rogue’ surgeons who give the profession a bad name – many of them bypassed the MDT process.
Some of these principles may come across as being too simplistic, but I feel that they are extremely important and form the core of my practice.