One urologist directs patients to the Johns Hopkins site, while another recommends the AUA homepage.
“One of the main websites I recommend to patients is the Johns Hopkins site. I feel that it’s pretty much non-biased. It’s more scientific and evidence-based-not that other sites aren’t-but I also know the site. It’s not too scientific for the layperson to understand, it elaborates on information and has good diagrams and pictures, and it explains different options. So I feel it’s a reasonable site for patients to start off with if I’m going to refer them to someplace online.
If it’s something specific, like GreenLight laser or robotic prostatectomy, I will also refer them to those specialty sites. Those websites are more commercially oriented but they do have good diagrams, videos, and things like that.
Patients will go to the Internet; a lot of my patients have already looked up whatever they think they need online before they come in to see me. Then they can ask about whether the information is good or not. But there are still many people who just aren’t going to look online no matter what I recommend.”
Kenneth R. Thomas, MD
“I use several sites, but the AUA has some pretty good patient information. That’s my primary go-to site for patients. There’s a link for non-clinicians; patients can use it easily. It’s a reliable site. It’s trustworthy and it’s a site that I’m also on, so I’m able to monitor what the patients are going to see.
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I do think patients get something useful out of being able to read some of this information for themselves. Usually, if somebody is savvy enough to go to the AUA website, they will also find other websites and look around. I think going to the web provides a pretty good foundation for discussion. Even if somebody brings in information that I may not necessarily agree with, at least it’s a platform to initiate a discussion after they’ve thought about the topic.
I would expect a lot of urologists would use the AUA site because to me, it just facilitates a discussion because I don’t really monitor what’s on the American Cancer Society or other websites that actively.”
David Bock, MD
Kansas City, KS
Dr. Strom“I will recommend patients look at the Internet. I can’t think of any specific site right now, but I have my own surgical videos they can watch online. If a patient wants more information on exactly what we’re going to do in a procedure I’ve scheduled, I’ll have them go look at my videos to see exactly what’s going to happen. I take protected video information and make videos of procedures that I’ve done, and upload them to YouTube. If patients want to know what it’s like taking a part of the kidney for a partial nephrectomy, doing a simple prostatectomy, or whatever, I think it’s nice that they can actually see it.
Other people have access to the videos if they want. They can Google my name on YouTube and there is a full list of videos there.
It’s not that I trust myself in everything, but it lets my patients know what I do.”
Kurt Strom, MD
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