How and why did you become a urologist?
I grew up in a medical family. My dad was a gynecologist, my mother was a nurse, and I knew I wanted to go into medicine. In medical school, I had a leaning toward oncology, and then I found urology. The diversity of the specialty keenly interested me. Unfortunately, both my grandfathers and my father had prostate cancer, and while they overcame it and had good outcomes, I saw what they went through. That got me into my current role of working with prostate and advanced prostate cancer.
As a urologist, I like that you can usually help and fix what ails most people, and I can develop relationships as I continue to see my patients for years.
What is an average day like for you?
I spend about two-thirds of my time in the clinic and one-third in the operating room doing a variety of procedures which are generally non- or minimally-invasive. In the clinic, it could be a cancer diagnosis, or kidney stones or urinary incontinence, and it’s predominantly men. I couldn’t do what I do without the great team behind me. We have wonderful MAs and nurses, and PA Brian Buhrer does a really great job.
What is your favorite part of working in urology?
I love the diversity of urology. Medicine is an art, it’s not algorithmic. Every anatomy is different. What matters to each patient is different. And that’s where the fun part of helping people comes in – to understand the best course of treatment.
We have become much more respectful of prostate cancer, and that it can be aggressive, or it can be indolent. With prostate cancer, we have treatment options that are different, with different side effect profiles. It’s not just about what cures someone better, you have to consider what is best for the patient. I look to maximize cancer cure and minimize the side effects.
What is your approach to patient care?
Patients are like family. I wouldn’t ask my patients to do anything I wouldn’t ask a family member to do. When considering treatment, I wonder: “Is this treatment something I would be willing to do, or what about my father, grandfather or my two boys?” I consider the short- and long-term consequences as part of that.
I also know the patient’s own self-awareness is valuable, and you can’t forget that. Listen to them. Understand their fears. Ask what is important to them and then figure out the best therapy.
What do you like to do outside of work?
We love the outdoors in Austin. I love to run, and I have done some marathons. I don’t do them anymore, but I still run about three days a week. I also swim, paddleboard, go mountain biking and play tennis. I would not do well in outer space because I have to be outside!
I also volunteer with my family at Community! First, which is part of Mobile Loaves & Fishes. This is a residential program for those who are homeless. We want to help our neighbors. Our family is very busy. My amazing wife, Caitlin, of 20 years is the director of the women’s heart center at Ascension. We have two boys ages 15 and 12, and I am blessed to have a great family. Sometimes they probably hear more about urologic issues than they want to! But my family is such an important part of my life, and they are a key support network for me.
Learn More About Dr. Giesler Here: https://urologyaustin.com/doctors/eric-giesler-md/