Kaynaat Syed, MHA
November 29, 2021
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 for a responsive, coordinated health care community that fulfills the needs of patients and consumers to achieve better health.
In recognition of Men’s Health Month, our team interviewed Dr. Serge Ginzburg, MD to learn more about his career in Urology, prostate cancer awareness, and his involvement with PURC.
Dr. Ginzburg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urology at Albert Einstein Medical Center. He has been an active member of PURC since 2015 as the surgeon champion for Einstein Health Network and the former chair of the Biopsy Working Group where he spearheaded efforts to increase the utilization of Transperineal biopsies in prostate cancer diagnosis. Dr. Ginzburg currently serves as the Director of Prostate Programs for PURC through which he supports HCIF with setting collaborative goals, establishing metrics, and identifying approaches and activities that best support participating practices.
What led you to urology? What interests you most about urology?
Transitioning from a career in engineering to becoming a physician, I was looking to take advantage of my dexterity and to harness my interest in technology. I wanted a career that allowed me to work with my hands, so a surgical specialty was a natural choice. Importance of family, work-life balance and recognizing like-minded colleagues in the field of urology made it an obvious choice. If I had to do it over, I would pick urology again.
What is one thing you think people should know about providing prostate cancer care?
Prostate cancer is a serious condition, but it is rarely an emergency. Patients should not be pressured into a quick treatment decision. It is crucial that patient education is emphasized, and shared decision making is embraced. With potential for significant impact on patients’ lifestyles and functional outcomes, comprehensive up-front counseling is critical to avoid downstream regret.
What are your greatest accomplishments within your field so far?
I try to critically evaluate new technologies and techniques as they emerge. I felt that the transperineal approach to prostate biopsy was the way forward and I pushed hard to adopt it across our regional collaborative. I believe that the benefits of widespread adoption of this technique will result in long term benefit for many patients.
If you could motivate people in your field to tackle one issue or address one challenge, what would it be?
Racial disparity, social inequity and implicit bias in prostate cancer care are real. A huge gap in resource allocation exists and I do all I can to level the playing field. I am proud to make state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge surgical techniques available to our urban, immigrant, underserved and underinsured population.
What have you found most valuable about working with HCIF? What is something you’ve learned from our partnership?
The privilege to collaborate with the brightest minds in prostate cancer care has been the most rewarding. It is amazing to see such a diverse group of urologists and health networks committing time and effort toward a common goal – to improve quality in prostate cancer care. Mentors like Dr. Robert Uzzo and Dr. Jay Raman along with friends and colleagues motivate me to grow outside my comfort zone, and I’m truly thankful for that.
What’s a quote that inspires you in your work?
“In theory, confidence and competence go hand in hand. In practice they often diverge. The ultimate goal is confident humility.” – Adam Grant, Think Again
What are some of your favorite hobbies, or things you like to do for fun?
I really enjoy the outdoors and always have fun hiking, camping and kayaking with my wife and sons. Every year we look forward to our ski trip to Mont Tremblant. My favorite place that I visited is Patagonia, where I backpacked the W Trek in Torres del Paine National Park. It was amazing.