Georgia Urology’s Dr. Andrew Kirsch, recently named President-Elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section of Urology, regularly lectures throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Dr. Kirsch has been an invited lecturer and surgeon to more than 25 countries. He continues sharing his expertise in robotic surgery innovation and the minimally invasive treatment of urinary reflux with international colleagues. In the past several months, Dr. Kirsch spoke to pediatric urologists in Rio de Janiero and Salvador, Brazil, Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, and most recently he spoke with colleagues in Delhi, India.
“The resources are less in some of these countries, especially India and Brazil,” says Dr. Kirsch. “In terms of robotic surgery, they’re just starting. My talks help them understand where we started and where we are today. Now that they’ve seen where you can go with it, they’re enthusiastic and want to learn more.”
In addition, Dr. Kirsch spoke about the treatment of urinary reflux, specifically the development of an endoscopic technique that has become the standard of care for children across the globe. He has personally trained more than 500 physicians on the procedure worldwide.
“It’s rewarding to bring innovation to others,” says Dr. Kirsch, “and to speak from our large experience in Atlanta, because we have one of the busiest practices in the United States.”
While the diseases remain the same, Dr. Kirsch says many international pediatric urologists approach things differently due to cultural and economic obstacles.
Outside of the U.S., he says pediatric urology training differs because the field is an offshoot of pediatric surgery. This means few surgeons performing pediatric urology procedures in other countries are specifically trained in pediatric urology.
However, Dr. Kirsch says he sees the tide turning with more international pediatric urologists receiving stateside training and others expressing interest in the formal concentration. Many international trainees have already come to observe Dr. Kirsch in Atlanta.
“I think pediatric urology will become more specialized internationally and probably separate from pediatric surgery,” he says. “That’s basically what happened in the United States, which has resulted in better care for children with genitourinary diseases”.