The Health Care Improvement Foundation’s (HCIF) Partner Profiles highlight the efforts of valued and innovative health leaders. Our partners’ work supports HCIF’s vision of healthier communities through equitable, accessible, and quality health care.
In recognition of November being Men’s Health Awareness Month, HCIF is pleased to feature Dr. Andres Correa, MD, Urologic Oncologist and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Dr. Correa completed his Urologic Surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Fellowship at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Originally from Cali, Colombia, Dr. Correa completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and earned his medical school degree at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
Dr. Correa has been a member of the PURC collaborative since starting in May of 2020 and since has been an active participant in the biopsy working group. Within the collaborative, Dr. Correa has explored the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on prostate cancer care across minority populations. As Chair of the biopsy working group, he has championed the adoption of the transperineal prostate biopsy approach, including the development of education resources for collaborative members, and closely tracking practice patterns and outcomes
What led you to urology? What interests you most about urology?
I chose to pursue urology because of the great mentors I had while in medical school in Maryland. I was captured by their unassuming demeanor and easy-going attitude while at the same time tackling complex health conditions. As I progressed through my urology training, I became interested in the management of urological cancers. I was intrigued by the wide spectrum of management strategies for each condition, ranging from observation in some patients to invasive procedures in others.
What is one thing you think people should know about providing prostate cancer care?
The main thing I would like people to know about the treatment of prostate cancer is how important it is to individualize the management strategy for each patient. Prostate cancer treatment has the potential to impact several domains of the patient’s life and without discussing important social factors, the consequences can be significant. An in-depth discussion about the patient’s employment status, dependents under his care, future employment, or financial plans are crucial to limit the impact of the treatment strategy on their livelihood.
If you could motivate people in your field to tackle one issue or address one challenge, what would it be?
The expansion of treatment options for patients with prostate cancer has also opened the window to increasing financial toxicity. As we move forward with adopting novel therapeutics, we also need to the cognizant of the downstream financial impact these therapies are having on our patients. It is well recognized that financial toxicity leads to an increase in mental health conditions and potentially inferior oncological outcomes as patients are tasked with choosing health over other life necessities.
What have you found most valuable about working with HCIF? What is something you’ve learned from our partnership?
I have been involved in the HCIF partnership since 2020, starting as a member of the prostate biopsy working group. It has been an amazing experience to share ideas within the collaborative and identify potential barriers to achieving our quality metrics. The changes made by the collaborative have been amazing, with our active surveillance rates above the national average and our rapid adoption of the transperineal prostate biopsy technique.
What’s a quote that inspires you in your work?
“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones that do more listening than talking” – Bernard M. Baruch. I believe that in the world of medicine, listening is a skill set that I work on daily to make sure I am providing the best care for patients. That means taking time to listen to their stories, their concerns, and their future plans. Only by active listening can you have a patient be a partner in their care.
What are some of your favorite hobbies or things you like to do for fun?
I like spending time with my two sons Mateo (8) and Nico (4). They are very active kids, so we spend a lot of time outdoors playing around. I also like to travel and get to experience new cultures.