For the fifth consecutive year, the Center for Pediatric Urology was listed in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of pediatric specialties. Patricio Gargollo, M.D., director of Pediatric Urology Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery, talks about what the ranking means, why he’s proud to work here and why we should all be proud of Children’s.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working at Children’s?
PG: I think I enjoy three things the most – taking care of our patients is number one. I think we are very privileged to work in an area that serves a very large number of patients with a wide variety of needs.
Number two is the people. We work with a group of extraordinary nurses, physicians and other health care providers. From social work to environmental services, it’s a very friendly environment.
Number three is that the hospital has really made a commitment to promote the health care of the children of North Texas. I’ve always tried to aspire to belong to organizations that understand what needs to be done to not only promote their ideas and their goals, but to really serve the community around them. I think this institution as a whole has really made a commitment to that, and it’s really exciting to be a part of that.
Q: What does the U.S. News & World Report ranking mean to you and to your specialty?
PG: I think we live in a communication savvy world. The rankings are important because they validate the work that we’re doing here as an institution. They are also a resource that patients and parents value strongly.
- U.S. News & World Report
- Minimally Invasive
- Ranked “very high” for the number of patients in the past year who had certain specified minimally invasive procedures.
- Advanced Technologies
- Ranked in all technologies including PET or PET/CT scan, pediatric urodynamic equipment, video pediatric urodynamic fluoroscopy and surgical robot.
Clinics and Programs
- Ranked in all specialized clinics and programs including those for abnormal urination, spina bifida, kidney and urinary-tract stones, prenatal urinary disorders and genitourinary reconstructive surgery.
to Clinical Research
- Ranked “high” for participation in clinical trials and bench to bed-side research.
Q: What drew you to medicine and, specifically, to pediatrics?
PG: Ever since junior high school, I always thought I was going to be a surgeon. I really like pediatric urology because it tends to be more reconstructive. I knew I was going to be part of a profession that, at least in my eyes, serves the greater good. There’s never been anything else I wanted to be my entire life. I always knew I would be a surgeon.
Q: What keeps you motivated?
PG: I have an incredible support structure at home. My wife is amazing. My children are just incredible. We really had to do most things in our lives by ourselves. We’re very independent people, and I think my wife is just one of the greatest influences I have in my life.
Even though it’s a very challenging and stressful job that all of us do here, the reward of making these children’s lives better keeps me getting up and being excited about coming to work day after day. Even on the hard days.
Q: What’s your greatest accomplishment, thus far?
PG: I sort of came from nothing. I was raised by a single father who worked extremely long hours. I really like to think of myself as self-raised. I was on scholarship for college and medical school and have done it all on my own.
My biggest point of pride is that I seldom have needed anybody else to help me with my life. What I’ve done, I’ve done on my own with very limited help.
Q: What’s your biggest point of pride about working here?
PG: We have built one of, if not, the busiest pediatric urology robotic programs in the country and perhaps the world. I have developed two very unique robotic surgeries here, and we were the first ones to perform those surgeries in the world. And for me, the ability to have international visitors come here to watch me and to learn those techniques, as well as have me go all over the country to teach those techniques, is the biggest point of pride for me.
Q: What do you think is a point of pride for everyone who works at Children’s?
PG: We really provide an immense service for our community that nobody else can or will provide. We take care of the sickest children, sometimes people with no financial means, and we don’t turn anybody away. We do our best to be involved with the community. And it’s a team effort, from the environmental services level to the executive leadership, that’s a commitment we all share, and I think that’s evident in the health care we provide.