The Urology Care Foundation has chosen Dr. John Lynch as the new Chair of its Public Education Council.
Dr. Lynch is professor and chairman of the MedStar Georgetown University Department of Urology in Washington, D.C. He has been on the faculty at Georgetown since 1979. He has a major focus on helping patients make informed choices for their prostate cancer treatment.
"I'm a prostate cancer survivor, and my wife told me before my surgery that the experience would make me a better doctor. I think she was right," he said. "It's easier to explain to patients what the expectations should be simply because I've been there."
As Chair of the Public Education Council, Dr. Lynch has set some goals for what he'd like to do in his new role. This includes making sure there are more public education materials for patients. Another goal is to grow the number of visitors to the Foundation's website: UrologyHealth.org.
"I think it's important that we educate patients as well as we possibly can. It helps them with their understanding of the disease and their treatment options," he said. "There are so many venues where patients can find information on the Internet. We want to make sure [the Foundation] provides them with the most up-to-date material."
Dr. Lynch says he decided to enter urology because he liked the blend of surgery and medicine. He also liked having the chance to follow patients after their treatment, as part of their long-term care. One of his favorite parts of his job is bonding with his patients. He thinks getting to know each patient as a person is key to being a better doctor.
"You get to know them as individuals. They become more than patients," he said.
Dr. Lynch first learned he had prostate cancer 12 years ago. Since treatment, he has been cancer-free.
"Being a patient allowed me to better empathize with the patients. It gave me a better feel for what they're going through," he said.