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I am a urologist, not a neurologist

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I meet a fair number of people every day who ask me “Doc, what kind of doctor are you?” The women usually want to know if I am a gynaecologist. The men will usually know, but only in a limited way. They will usually say “He is the prostate doctor” and they and the women are surprised that I also see women.{{more}}

Again, for the umpteenth time, I AM A UROLOGIST, NOT A NEUROLOGIST. I do not treat the human brain, apart from men’s brain, which is in their pants! First and foremost I am a surgeon. My primary work is treating diseases that involve surgery. Most of the surgery is done with telescopes and laser, so most of the cutting is done on the inside and does not involve a knife in the traditional sense of the word.

As a urologist, I see both men and women, both adult and children. I treat any organ in the male and female that has to do with the urine. So, I treat the kidneys, ureters and bladder in both males and females. Contrary to popular opinion, I am not as young and inexperienced as I may appear. I have spent the last 23 years as a qualified doctor and the last 18 as a qualified surgeon. I have been a urologist for 14 years, 10 of which have been in this country.

The scope of the diseases I treat ranges from diseases such as kidney cancers in adults and abnormally formed kidneys in children, to the recurrent bladder infection in women and blood in the urine in men, women and children. As a urologist, I also deal with male sexuality and the male sexual organs, as the urine flows in these areas. This means prostate, testicles and penis, hence male sexual response, infertility and impotence. Almost any surgical disease that involves the urinary tract I treat. I am sometimes pushed to treat other diseases not directly related to the urine, but which are intimately associated with the urinary tract, like a hernia associated with a hydrocele or an undescended testicle in a child. Because I am a qualified medical practitioner, I can treat diseases like diabetes and hypertension, which are rampant in this country, but I tend to do so only in as much as they affect the kidneys, bladder, prostate and erections or they affect an operation I am about to do. Many a difficult and poorly controlled diabetic and hypertensive will be referred to the internist who specializes in treating these diseases.

Over the next year or so, I will be talking in detail about what I do as a urologist. I will be dealing with issues such as kidney stones, blood in the urine, prostate cancer and prostate enlargement, bladder infections and overactive bladder. I have dealt with male sexuality from a medical perspective, but I will also deal with it from a social and psychological perspective. I have been asked to deal with the female sexual response, but I will leave that to my gynaecologist colleague. In all of these discourses, I will be trying to stick to the facts from a scientific point of view. However, before I start discussing urological topics, I will divert to discussing some common misconceptions I encounter about medicine everyday. Misconceptions about what doctors do and the scope of our professional abilities will be addressed (i.e. we are not magicians). I will endeavour to discuss the process of medicine i.e. how we arrive at a diagnosis and why we do certain tests and not others. I will also discuss basic medicines and herbal medicine, yes, herbal medicine!

Finally, in this discourse, and fittingly so, I will discuss the basics of hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and cancers, since these are the major killers in our society. Because the future of our society is dependent on our interaction with our environment, I will seek to relate medicine to our environment and especially to science. I will show how medicine has evolved from an art to a science practiced as an art. I will explain why most doctors appear to be so skeptical about things we do not understand and why science is so important to medicine. For the young in our society who are considering a career in medicine, I will explain how we, as doctors, think, and the scientific process. Interestingly, in order for you to understand how doctors think, you have to understand the process of science. You might ask, ‘Who are you a doctor to explain what a scientist does?’.

My answer is, some of the greatest scientists started as, were and are still medical doctors. I have spent the last 23 years as a practicing scientist, before which I spent 5 years learning medical science and 4 years before that learning science at ordinary and advanced level. Besides, I see a great many scientists in our society and very few are actually taking the time to explain their careers to the young. I hope the next year of science and medicine will be a treat to these youngsters.

For comments or question contact:
Dr. Rohan Deshong
Tel: (784) 456-2785
email: [email protected]

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