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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Department of Urology, University of Michigan
Clinical assistant professorVIEW PROFILE
Only 8 percent of practicing urologists in the U.S. are women, and that includes Priyanka Gupta, M.D. (MED ’09), at the University of Michigan. She was attracted to the specialty for the mix of procedures, patient relationships and opportunities for international work. She has a toddler, she’s working to develop an international residency program, and she’s helped to recruit another Mayo Clinic alumna to the Michigan practice — challenging the male dominance of the profession, one woman at a time.
Growing up in Arizona, I was familiar with the Mayo Clinic reputation because I had a few friends who had gone to Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. I was excited to be able to do rotations at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale and visit my family. Ultimately, I was very impressed with Mayo during my interview.
Urology offers both office-based and operating room procedures as well as the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with patients.
I’m also interested in international work, and there are many opportunities for that in urology. During my training I traveled to Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. I’m currently working with our department to establish a more defined international program for residents.
I’m passionate about improving surgical education in lower- and middle-income countries. By developing training programs for urologists abroad, we can build in-country capacity and encourage international collaboration.
Exciting and busy. I have a nice mix of clinical and operative work, and I teach residents, fellows and medical students. I’m just beginning to develop my research interests.
I specialize in female urology — specifically, incontinence, voiding dysfunction, pelvic pain and pelvic organ prolapse. I do robotic and vaginal surgeries for prolapse and various procedures for incontinence. Our department has six women urologists out of 30. We recently brought on board another Mayo alumna, Kristin Chrouser, M.D. (MED ’00, U ’06). We’ve been friends and allies for a long time, and now we’re colleagues.
The hours post-training are much better in terms of call. But there’s a sense of responsibility as an attending that has more gravity to it. You are now the primary surgeon and responsible for the outcomes of your patients. But when the patient does well after surgery, it is extremely rewarding to see how much you can improve their quality of life.
I had our son right after finishing my fellowship. My husband is a lawyer, so our work lives are busy. Part of the reason I chose female urology is because most procedures are elective, so I have more control over my schedule and can be home in the evening with my son.
Figuring out what I want my research focus to be. There are many problems I find interesting, and I need to determine where I want to focus my energy. I also am navigating the challenges of building my academic career while building my family.
We like to exercise, do yoga, travel and visit family. We like being outdoors and cooking different types of cuisine.
I feel fortunate to have had amazing medical school classmates at Mayo. I still have close ties to many of them. I enjoy seeing how our careers have developed and have been thankful for the network because I have had to call on the expertise of my classmates at times.
To this day, the dedication to patient care at Mayo Clinic and the emphasis on the patient coming first affects how I interact with my patients. I always try to give them the time and care they deserve. There’s a general feeling at Mayo — a pride people at all levels take in their jobs. This pervasive culture is truly unique. It is clear to me that completing part of your training at Mayo Clinic is invaluable. I always look back on my time at Mayo with great fondness and encourage my trainees to consider applying to Mayo.
“Is it true you don’t wear white coats?” I assure them we do not in most patient interactions.
“Is it really such a great system?” I tell them it’s a great system that coordinates the patient experience to make sure they see the necessarily specialists in an efficient manner.
I’m proud of the international work I’ve done.
I’m also proud of Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. When patients ask where I trained and I mention Mayo, they brighten up because they know the reputation.
See past New Chapter stories here.