Palm Beach County's residents are getting smarter about their health care, and physicians need to keep up with the latest treatments to meet their needs, said Dr. Diego Rubinowicz.
That's why the Loxahatchee-based urologist decided to be proactive and learn how to treat prostate cancer using a method called HIFU, or high intensity focused ultrasound. HIFU uses ultrasound waves to target and destroy cancerous tissue.
Available in Europe since the 1990s, the treatment only recently was approved for use in the United States. HIFU isn't for everyone, but for patients who meet the criteria, it's less invasive and provides a faster recovery and fewer side effects than other forms of prostate cancer treatment. It also can delay or prevent surgery or radiation.
On Nov. 8, Rubinowicz became the first Palm Beach County doctor to perform the procedure, which was done at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach.
Rubinowicz is proud of his accomplishment and happy about the many recent breakthroughs in the urology field, developments that he said have helped improve prostate cancer diagnoses and treatment. "We're getting smarter and better at it," he said.
Rubinowicz said he's seen Palm Beach County grow during the 17 years he's been in the county. When he first came to the area, the end of Lake Worth Road at 441 "was a blinking light" with cows nearby, he recalled.
Not anymore. With new housing developments pushing growth even farther out west, Rubinowicz said he knows that Palm Beach County is a hot market not only for construction but for health care providers, too.
Rubinowicz said the growing competition is good for patients, "and it allows for innovation, to offer patients what's available in other areas."
Name: Diego Rubinowicz, M.D.
Title: Board-certified urologist and founder of Urology Center of Palm Beach, P.A.
Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina; Currently lives in Wellington.
Education: State University of New York, Binghamton, B.A. Biology; Boston University, M.A. medical sciences; Medical College of Wisconsin, M.D.; Jackson Memorial Hospital, residency in urology. Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Urology.
About your company/practice: The Urology Center of Palm Beach is committed to providing personalized, compassionate and state-of-the art urological care to men and women. We strive to offer patients the most innovative technology and latest procedures available. The Urology Center of Palm Beach office is bilingual (English and Spanish).
We focus on men's health, including dietary and lifestyle modifications, testosterone levels, assessment of sexual function, infertility and voluntary sterilization; prostate health including prostate inflammation, BPH (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia) and screening, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer; kidneys and kidney stones; urinary conditions including incontinence, urodynamic evaluation, and pelvic floor rehabilitation; and oncology, featuring screening, diagnosis and treatment of genitourinary cancer of the prostate, bladder, kidney and testicles.
First paying job and what you learned from it: During college I worked over the summer at a factory that makes trailers for boats in Montreal, Canada. Even though I worked for a relative, I had no special benefits other than a free lunch. I quickly saw how hard people work to make a living in the real world.
First break in the business: I opened Urology Center of Palm Beach on Aug. 1, 2004, and I never looked back. It has been an amazing ride to be able to start my own practice and make a living by helping people.
How your business has changed: Although taking care of patients is always my first priority, there are a lot of different aspects involved in running a medical practice. Over the last few years, medical practices have been hit with increased regulation. For example, implementation of electronic medical records has changed the way we engage with patients and document the encounters. There also is increased administrative burden on the office staff and the physician regarding authorization of tests, medications and procedures. At the same time, as a physician I need to be continually updated on new technologies, procedures and treatments.
The field of urology has seen a tremendous amount of innovation over the last decade. Some of those exciting advances have included the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) with Rezum; and HIFU for the treatment of prostate cancer. I offer both at my office.
Best business book: "Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World" by Adam Grant. This book deals with how by finding a solution to a common problem you can make it big in the world of business.
Best piece of business advice you ever received: Treat other people the way you want to be treated.
What you tell young people about your business: Do what you love and are passionate about. Don’t do it for the money.
Many successful people learn from failure. Do you have a failure you can share and what you learned from it? Over the years I have realized that not everyone is ready to receive all the help you are willing to give them at that particular time. Sometimes it is better to pick your battles and accomplish your goals in small increments.
What do you see ahead for Palm Beach County? A lot of growth, a lot of construction and development, and a push for more sophistication in the delivery of medical care.
Power lunch spot: Doctor’s lounge at the hospital.
Where we’d find you when you’re not at the office? At the swimming pool, gym, tennis courts or spending time with family and friends and watching sporting events.
Favorite smartphone app: Spotify
What is the most important trait you look for when hiring? Accountability and willingness to learn and contribute to the practice.