Life after Katrina: 'We can move on,' urologists say

December 1, 2005

New Orleans--Hurricane Katrina has come and gone and in its wake we are left with devastation, carnage, and sadness. The region has more than 6,000 displaced physicians, and 156 AUA members have practices in the affected areas, according to AUA.

New Orleans-Hurricane Katrina has come and gone and in its wake we are left with devastation, carnage, and sadness. The region has more than 6,000 displaced physicians, and 156 AUA members have practices in the affected areas, according to AUA.

The populace has not returned. The hospitals have reduced services because there are not enough orderlies, technicians, and housekeeping staff to support an entire facility. The schools were closed and therefore, there are no children, and thus there is no laughter anywhere. The stores do not have enough staff to open. For some strange reason, there are no birds singing. Nature has truly done a number on this wonderful city that is 8 feet below sea level.

Satish Karnick, MD, is a urologist practicing in New Orleans. He lost his practice, and the hospital where he worked has no immediate plans to reopen. His patient base in St. Bernard Parish was decimated by the storm. Like the rest of the nation, he watched his professional life unfold on CNN. A friend who had trained in New Orleans contacted Dr. Karnick and offered him a position at his clinic in Austin, TX.

"I've been feeling 'survivor guilt' about having a livable home and an out-of-town job that just landed on my lap a week after the hurricane," Dr. Karnick said. "I see my patients on TV and I feel that I have abandoned them. I wonder if I should be opening up an office in another part of town and bleeding my family's savings, or am I better off taking care of my own children's education through my income in Austin?"