Get to know one of our urologists at Tri-City Medical Center, Dr. Jason Phillips. We sat down with Dr. Phillips and asked him a few questions to see why he became a doctor and what the community means to him.
Q. What inspired you to become a physician?
I realized I wanted to be become a physician at the end of college. I was being groomed in the business school to enter a career in management consulting. As I neared graduation for my undergraduate studies at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, I realized the shoe didn’t quite fit and that my passion was to help other people. I had the opportunity to work in various medical disciplines including general medicine, orthopedics, physical therapy and liver research. I realized I liked them all. My grandmother at that time suffered a stroke and helping her with her recovery confirmed that I needed to redirect into becoming a physician.
As a medical student I was always fascinated with the surgical disciplines. I enjoyed the procedural aspects of surgery and was especially interested in minimally invasive techniques. However, I have always enjoyed the human connection and the ability to see people evolve over their lifetime. Urology was a natural fit. Urologists have been at the forefront of the movement into minimally invasive techniques to remove cancer, treat voiding dysfunction and reconstruct organs that are naturally difficult to access. Furthermore, Urology provided the unique blend of instantly impacting a person’s life with a surgical cure, but at the same time allowing for a physician-patient relationship to develop over many years. I obtained my MBA at UC Irvine during my medical training with the hope of one day evolving my career to include administrative duties that will impact the evolution of medicine. I feel privileged in my training because I have been able to work with thought leaders and mentors in the Urologic community at UC Irvine and University of Colorado.
Q. What’s your favorite part about living in our community?
My grandparents moved to North County in the 1950s. My father grew up here. He went to school at Army Navy. Although I grew up in Los Angeles I spent a lot of time in San Diego. When I turned 16 I learned how to drive in the rural streets of North County. In some ways moving here is like coming home. Probably my favorite part about living here is the laid back culture, the beach, and the supportive family atmosphere to raise my children.
Q. What is the focus of your practice? Do you specialize in a certain aspect of urology or take a special interest in?
I offer the full complement of urological services for men and women. I was trained in all aspects of Urological Surgery and treat all conditions for the adult male or female. I have an interest in treating BPH, urologic cancers, kidney stones, overactive bladder, incontinence, bladder prolapse, and erectile dysfunction. I am trained in minimally invasive technologies including ureteroscopy, Greenlight laser, UroLift, laparoscopic surgery and the da Vinci robotic surgical system.
As it is men’s health month, I would like to let you know that I have a special interest in men’s health and treating symptoms related to an enlarged prostate. For men with urinary symptoms such as a weak stream, urgency, daytime or nighttime frequency, I offer an array of treatments including the UroLift system, Greenlight laser, bipolar TURP and simple prostatectomy. I perform more UroLift procedures and Greenlight laser surgeries than anyone else in North County. North County patients who are candidates for the minimally invasive UroLift system have successfully benefited from this in-office procedure without the need of going to the operating room or an overnight stay. However, not every treatment is right for each person. I truly believe in putting the patient first so that he or she can receive the right treatment at the right time to fit their individual and unique needs. From my MBA training, I am an advocate of collaborative decision-making and utilizing a team-based approach to optimize patient outcomes.
Q. Why did you choose to be affiliated with a community hospital like Tri-City Medical Center?
My father grew up here. My grandparents went to Tri-City Medical Center for their medical care. They moved to the Tri-City area in the early 1950’s, before Tri-City Medical Center was founded. In some ways, I feel like I am giving back to a community that my family has been a part of since its inception. In other ways I am establishing roots in a community where I am raising my family.
Q. It’s Men’s health month. What would you encourage Men across our community to do to improve their health?
I have a passion for men’s health. If there was one thing I recommend men do to improve their health it would be “to talk about it” – talk with their friends, their significant other or their doctors. Male urologic topics such as erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, and urinary difficulties are sometimes considered conversational taboo. However, so often I hear from patients that once they start the conversation on the golf course they are surprised by how many of their friends suffer from the same symptoms. Men aren’t alone with their problems. In fact 1 in 5 men suffer from erectile dysfunction and 70% of older men suffer from BPH symptoms. You are not alone and new treatments are constantly evolving the treatment landscape. A good example would be the UroLift procedure. Traditionally, men with lower urinary tract symptoms such as the feeling of urinary urgency or a weak stream were treated with medications or a surgical procedure such as a TURP. Now, however, I can treat many of these men with an in-office procedure UroLift procedure by using tiny implants to push the prostate open. This leaves an unobstructed urethra for urine to flow normally again. It is a mechanical solution to a mechanical problem. During my training this technology wasn’t available and men had to choose between medications and a more invasive surgical option. I get great satisfaction knowing that I can help men achieve a balance.
Q. What would people be surprised to know about you? Hidden hobby/talent?
I enjoy traveling and I enjoy photography. I have made it to most continents with a camera in tow. After a brief dip in the travel calendar due to our two small children, my wife and I look forward to exploring new areas, both local and afar, with the kids.