News

7.31.2012

Robotic Surgeon and Oncologist Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., Named Chair of Urology

Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., among the world’s most experienced robotic surgeons for urologic oncology, has been named chairman of the Miller School’s Department of Urology. Parekh, who was the Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Distinguished University Chair in Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery and Urologic Oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, assumes his new position on August 2.

“Dr. Parekh is a remarkably well-rounded urologic oncologist whose multiple skills and interests will help bring our already notable Department of Urology to the next level,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School, and CEO of University of Miami Health System. “An expert in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of all urologic malignancies, he performs robotic cancer surgeries on the prostate, the kidney and the bladder, as well as the most complex and major open cancer surgeries. But that’s not all: He is keenly interested in transforming the business side of medicine to improve care, and in funded research that makes a real difference in the lives of patients.”

“Dr. Parekh has very impressive credentials and equally impressive experience, but just as important, he is deeply interested in the delivery of the highest quality patient care,” added Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Miller School. “Dipen strongly believes that every patient needs a personalized, therapeutic approach tailored specifically for them, and their cancer; whether it’s robotic, open or laparoscopic, he can devise and deliver it with precision. We are delighted to welcome him to Sylvester!”

Parekh, who built a formidable practice during his six years in South Texas, where he started UT San Antonio’s robotic program from scratch, and established an outreach program at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, which serves a large minority population, said he was lured to the Miller School by UM’s dynamic and visionary leadership, its proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean, and the opportunity to build on the contributions of Bruce Kava, M.D., Mark S. Soloway, M.D., and the late Victor Politano, M.D., who brought the Department of Urology to national prominence over the four decades they collectively served as its chair (interim chair in the case of Dr. Kava).

“The idea is to grow and enhance the robotics and the urologic oncology program to make it the preferred health care choice for the people of South Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America,” Parekh said. “A city of the scale and size of Miami and the people of South Florida deserve an exceptional urology program that offers cutting-edge clinical care while conducting transformational research. I believe I can be instrumental in helping develop that.”

He also hopes to develop centers of excellence at UM in female and reconstructive urology, urinary stone disease and men’s health, and to transform the department into the premier clinical and educational resource and referral center for private practice urologists across the region. “We want to be considered a valuable partner in the community, and beyond,” he said.

The author of several scientific papers, abstracts and book chapters and an assistant editor for the preeminent Journal of Urology, Parekh recently conducted important research in renal ischemia that may change clinical practice in the surgical management of kidney cancer. He serves as Principal Investigator of the only National Cancer Institute-sponsored clinical trial comparing open and robotic cystectomy for bladder cancer.

Now in its second year, the five-year, 15-center trial, which Parekh will bring to UM, is destined to be transformational, settling the debate over the safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of robotic versus open surgery with true comparative-effectiveness research.

Born in India, Parekh earned his M.D. from Poona University and completed residencies in general surgery and urology at Mumbai University, earning board certification in both. Awarded a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship, he pursued further training in the U.S., completing a residency in urology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and a fellowship in urologic oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

He recently earned his Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Trinity University in San Antonio – to become better acquainted with what it takes to operate a successful health care enterprise, and to improve quality while cutting costs. “I want to be part of a positive change in health care, and not a passive bystander,” he said.

Parekh will be joined in Miami by his wife Amruta and sons Sachin and Rahul.

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