In celebration of National Doctors Day (March 30, 2017), we sat down with Casey Seideman, M.D. A pediatric urologist, Dr. Seideman takes care of kids and young adults with diseases and disorders of urination, reproductive organs and/or testes. Below, Dr. Seideman tells us more about her career path and why she loves caring for kids and families at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
What does an average day look like for you?
Every day is different, which is part of the reason I love this job. During the week, I spend time seeing patients in clinic – I get to meet families for the first time, and I also get to see how my patients are doing. Some of our patients need longer-term care, and it’s nice to develop relationships with families over time.
When I’m not in clinic, I’m operating. Many of our patients need surgical therapy, and I love that I’m able to provide them both clinical and surgical care.
My third responsibility during the day is teaching. OHSU has an excellent Urology Residency program. and I spend a large part of my day helping train Urology residents both in and out of clinical situations.
What’s something people might be surprised to learn about your career path?
In college, I wanted to be an archaeologist – I’ve actually spent two seasons digging off the coast of Cyprus! I discovered my passion for medicine later in college, and once I was in medical school, I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to be a surgeon.
I met with a urologist to discuss my interest in the field and my future career goals. To my surprise, he told me that as a woman I should reconsider and choose a field that was more “female friendly.” This was the first of a few encounters during my training where I realized that being a woman and being a surgeon did not seem compatible to some people. Luckily, their doubts and misgivings only motivated me more.
Pediatric urology is a rewarding field – I enjoy caring for children every day, and helping improve their quality of life. I love being in the operating room and working with cutting-edge technology. And I enjoy the physician-patient relationships that develop with long-term care.
What are the most rewarding and most difficult parts of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is helping families have a better quality of life. That might mean getting their child out of the hospital faster, reducing pain or fixing a surgical problem. The more quality time the family can spend together outside of the hospital, the better!
Sometimes the most challenging part of my job can be dealing with sick kids who require a lot of coordination of care. However, the biggest challenges can sometimes be the most rewarding.
What changes do you see in your field that you’re excited about?
Urology and pediatric urology are at the forefront of technological advancements. Oftentimes, we are leaders in the technology that drives surgery. Here at OHSU, we offer a wide range of minimally invasive urologic surgeries. Minimally invasive surgery is an alternative to large incisions, and often reduces hospital stays and pain after surgery.
We also are pushing to consolidate care into multidisciplinary clinics. So instead of scheduling separate doctors appointments and imaging, we are pushing to create clinics where patients can be seen by multiple specialties at the same time.
What advice would you give to an aspiring physician or surgeon?
To quote Winston Churchill: “Never, ever ever ever ever give up.” Medical and surgical training can be very long, and oftentimes grueling. The long hours and training can seem never ending, but it’s worth it – I promise!”
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I enjoy exploring the Portland area and the outdoors. I believe work/life balance does exist, but it requires commitment. Working out, trying new local restaurants and spending quality time with my loved ones helps me maintain that balance.
Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for OHSU Doernbecher patients and families?
Patients and families are in great hands at Doernbecher. We go the extra mile to ensure that all patients get high quality, coordinated care. We strive to minimize multiple appointments and consolidate testing. And, most importantly, we want the best experience possible to improve your quality of life.