An internationally renowned urologist specializing in the treatment of urological cancers, Dr. Phillip Brenner has treated patients at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, New South Wales, for well over 20 years. During that time, Dr. Brenner has addressed the needs of an endless array of patients enduring the struggles associated with prostate and kidney cancer by relying on his unique understanding and expertise regarding the most effective of the available treatment methodologies.
Dr. Brenner was previously head of St Vincents’s urology unit, and, in addition to this critical leadership role, he is also a tireless researcher whose findings have been published in major medical journals all over the world, including several recent articles (including, for example, a 2014 article titled, “Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging Guided Diagnostic Biopsy Detects Significant Prostate Cancer and Could Reduce Unnecessary Biopsies and Over Detection: A Prospective Study.”), many of which were published in The Journal of Urology.
Although he practiced out of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia, Dr. Brenner underwent extensive medical training in the United States. As part of a fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Brenner was able to learn under some of the world’s most prominent authorities on the subject of oncology and, more specifically, the urological cancers that have since become Dr. Brenner’s specialty.
Do you know what steez is? If so, how do you express your steez?
It just so happens that I was completing my fellowship at Sloan-Kettering right about the time this particular phrase seemed to enter into the American consciousness, so yes, I do know what it is and know the importance of expressing it as frequently as possible.
When you were younger what was your dream occupation?
I saw myself helping people in some way, and the medical field is certainly a profession that makes it possible to help the people who need it most. I’m proud that I was able to make the dream of my youth a reality as an adult.
Who/What inspired you to get into your current field?
Like most students who perform well academically, I had a great deal of support and encouragement to pursue whatever career I wished. Any time I mentioned my future desire to become a doctor, those around me always expressed confidence in my ability to excel in any field or endeavor, including medicine.
What is one current trend that excites you?
Technology is radically altering the surgical experience for both doctors and patients, so I am excited to see how much further innovation will take us. The Da Vinci Robot, for example, has made it possible to perform minimally invasive procedures in instances in which that was not always possible, and the same is true for preserving kidney function in other procedures.
What would you consider your biggest accomplishment?
My colleagues throughout the industry have been very kind and have offered consistent praise for my research efforts and many of my other professional achievements, but there is no greater accomplishment than a successful surgical procedure that restores the health and wellbeing of a patient.
What do you think of social media? Has it made an impact on your professional career?
Social media is something that, although I was a bit reticent at first, has turned out to be invaluable from a medical perspective. Lines of communication are wide open and patients now seem much more likely to connect with the most ideal doctor based on their specific medical needs.
If you were ever to start again, would you do anything differently?
I would spend more time training in the US. My time there was well spent, but there is always more that one can learn. A place like Sloan-Kettering is an incredibly valuable resource.
What do you see for the future?
I see the medical field continuing to benefit from technological innovation, and it is my goal to make substantial contributions to those innovative efforts.
What’s one piece of advice you can tell our readers?
I believe it is important to view things through several different lenses, especially when it comes to planning one’s future or achieving one’s goals. At any point in time, I know exactly what my short-, intermediate-, and long-term goals are and can consider the best possible approach to ensure all of those goals are ultimately achieved.