Making the Rounds with Dr. Shubham Gupta

Dr. Shubham Gupta on what drew him to a career in surgical urology

Making the RoundsFor our latest Making the Rounds interview, we had a chance to talk with urologist Dr. Shubham Gupta. Dr. Gupta is one of the region’s leading reconstructive urologists and also helps genitourinary cancer patients recover from complications stemming from treatment.

Why did you decide to pursue medicine as a career?

My father is a physician, and when I was growing up, I always looked up to him. That was really the first thing that inspired me to investigate medicine as a career choice.

And over the course of my education, that choice was just solidified and consolidated into what I think has been a pretty great career thus far.

What conditions do you treat?

My practice focuses on reconstructive urology and cancer survivorship. The cancer survivorship part of it is for patients who have had cancer removed or radiated, but now they have complications from that treatment itself. Women with cervical cancer will have issues with their bladder after treatment, while men with prostate cancer will have leakage of urine after prostate removal. We are able to perform the entire breadth and spectrum of survivorship care to these patients.

The other aspect of my practice is reconstructive urology, which, to put it in very simplistic terms, is like plumbing. If your plumbing is blocked, you can remove the bad stuff and put good things back together, which is really what I do. Within urology, it’s a very small niche, and we are the only center in the entire state that provides these services.

How did you land on surgical urology as a specialty?

When I initially started med school, I thought I was going to do internal medicine, which is what my father practices. And then I rotated on internal medicine and I didn’t really like it a whole lot.

Surgical specialties, on the other hand, allow one to make a diagnosis, have a deductive reasoning and then act on it, and then maybe provide a faster way of helping the patient. During my rotations, urologists were always the most fun people to work with. They were always laid back and just loved what they did. Urology involves a little bit of medicine as well as a lot of surgery, so it’s a perfect balance.

Describe your patient-care philosophy.

The patient needs a resolution of the problem that they have, which is not just a physical manifestation of the disease, it’s everything else that goes along with it – societal aspects as well as domestic aspects.

For instance, I commonly see patients who have had prostate cancer and now have leakage of urine. You can say, ‘There’s leakage of urine, there’s the problem. How can we mitigate that?’ But the larger view is that that problem prevents that patient from going to church, from hanging out with his buddies and playing golf, and from engaging in sexual intercourse. We have to integrate all of these concerns before we decide what treatment to offer that patient.

What are your hobbies outside of medicine?

I like to read a lot – I’m a leisure reader. I like to bike; I enjoy hitting up the Legacy Trail in Lexington.

And I’m trying to pick up golf, but I am not very good at it. One of my colleagues, Dr. Ali Ziada, who is a pediatric urologist at UK HealthCare, he is as awful as I am. We go together and hit some balls and pretend that we did something fruitful with our day.

What do you enjoy most about living in Lexington?

It’s a small, fun city. It’s got things to do for young professionals, and it’s surrounded by lots of beautiful country.

And it’s got lots of bourbon, too, which is great.

Check out our video interview with Dr. Gupta, where he tells us more about the types of conditions he treats and the specialized procedures he performs.

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