Dr. Mark Zachary, Why Urology?
Urology is an intriguing, exciting and gratifying area of medical practice. Each day, you see new patients with different problems. You get involved in the entire treatment process, right from screening, diagnosis and treatment to follow-up, performing procedures using wonderful diagnostic tools, amazing technology and advanced surgical equipment. You not only get to know different people, but also earn their trust, establish enduring relationships and keep them coming to your practice for consultations and follow-up care long after the first encounter with them.
Broad range of conditions
As a urologist, you are an expert in diagnosing and treating disorders of the external genital organs and the urinary tract. These include disorders of the penis, prostate, testes, bladder, urethra, ureters and kidneys. People come to you with a broad range of urological issues, including recurrent urinary tract infection, kidney stones, prostatitis, interstitial cystitis, urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, enlarged prostate, female or male infertility, female or male sexual dysfunction, and urological cancers, such as bladder, testicular, prostate, penile or kidney cancer. You also perform reconstructions to fix genital abnormalities present at birth, fix abnormalities in the urinary tract and intervene in accident-related trauma. It is a common misconception that we only treat men, but actually we see both men and women with a wide variety of conditions.
I saw urology as a great opportunity to help people overcome some of the most distressing and crushing conditions in their lives. As a young boy growing up, I felt a deep sense of compassion for those suffering and afflicted with various ailments. For me, it’s a natural ability to sort out other people’s problems. I opted to pursue medicine because I really wanted to see people free of their sicknesses. But when I went to the School of Medicine, Indiana University for my medical degree, I realized that urology was an area that few people wanted to consider but which required my compassion and unwavering commitment to help others.
My years in medical school re-enforced my resolve to become a urologist. So when I graduated from medical school, I moved to Chapel Hill, University of Carolina and to the Medical Center, Indiana University for my surgical and urology residency training. After that I was licensed by Florida Board of Medicine and certified by American Board of Urology, enabling me to fulfill my dream of helping the sick and inspiring hope even in the most miserable situations.
I have been practicing urology since 1987 and I’ve never had anything to regret. For me, urology is the ultimate opportunity to help others and make a positive impact in their lives. As a urologist, you are the embodiment of hope even for people with the most distressing conditions, such as advanced urologic cancers. Each day is like a gift — an opportunity to help and care for people. It’s also a chance to connect emotionally with patients and make a difference in their lives.
I love my job because of the deep relationships I have with my patients. They come to me when they are at their most vulnerable times, trust me with secrets that they have probably told no one, and find in me a valuable ally who re-injects optimism and warmth, faith and hope in their lives. Throughout my interactions with them, I take the necessary actions to help them overcome their conditions and be happy and optimistic again.
For me, to educate people about their health and see them adopt healthy lifestyle habits is very satisfying. It’s also gratifying to speak with people, inspire them to take full control of their lives and to think more proactively about their health. And because patients trust us a lot, using that opportunity to influence them to make informed decisions to live their lives to the fullest is something we do a lot, and it’s really rewarding.
Challenges and motivation
It’s not always rosy as a urologist — it really isn’t always easy. Each patient presents a surprise and each day may offer new challenges. Sometimes you can be overworked and overstressed, getting home feeling tired and emotionally exhausted. But because of the undying commitment to help others, we have to turn these challenges into opportunities to improve and excel in this career. So every day, I walk into and out of my work feeling excited and energized about what I have been able to achieve instead of whining and moaning about the roadblocks and setbacks encountered. My perseverance through the challenges only serves to improve my character while the struggles and obstacles help to elevate my skills and talents, bringing out the best in me.
Collaboration with colleagues
I also love my job because of the great relationships I have with my colleagues. Since I started practicing as a urologist, I have been privileged to work with very frank, cordial, skilled and knowledgeable professionals who have helped me to improve and get better at what I do. Working at Advanced Urology Institute has also provided me with great opportunities to innovate, research and keep learning — surrounded by talented and passionate professionals who are committed to a bigger purpose.
While urology is a distinct medical specialty, there are several sub-specialties within it and at times, I have found it necessary to refer my patients to colleagues who have training and experience that’s more in line with their specific problem. Likewise, depending on the urological problem, I may collaborate with a doctor from a completely different medical specialty to properly coordinate my patient’s treatment. For instance, if I find that you have a urologic cancer, I may refer you to a urologic oncologist or just work with a radiation therapist, medical oncologist or radiologist to properly treat your condition.
At AUI, there is a huge pool of medical professionals to collaborate with and deliver the best possible care for my patients. I also like the fact that all administrative tasks have been centralized to allow physicians to concentrate on treating patients. I couldn’t have found a better place to practice urology than AUI. At AUI, I am simply living my dream of making a difference in the lives of those afflicted by different urological disorders. Want to find out more about safe, effective diagnosis and treatment of urological problems, visit the “Advanced-Urology-Institute” site.