UHealth Urologist Receives Nurse Practitioner Advocacy Award

Mentoring another medical professional may seem like a one-sided practice, but these interactions often benefit both parties. Both mentor and mentee optimally bring unique perspectives, experience and ideas.

Sometimes the benefit for the physician mentor is unexpected, as was the case for UHealth urologist Ranjith Ramasamy, M.D. He recently found out he won the 2019 Florida Award for Advocate Excellence from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

“I was actually very surprised when I won the award,” Dr. Ramasamy said. “I didn’t know such an award existed, but I was happy that I got it.”

Libert Ramos, MSN/Ed, APRN, nominated him for the recognition, based on Ramos’ experience working with Dr. Ramasamy in the Department of Urology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

“Dr. Ramasamy is perhaps the strongest supporter of a collaborative physician-nurse practitioner model, one that fosters nurse practitioners practicing to the full extent of their scope of practice,” Ramos said. “Soon after my hiring, Dr. Ramasamy approached me to develop treatment protocols, proposed opening an independent clinic for me, and started referring patients.”

The success of Ramos’ clinic frees up Dr. Ramasamy to focus his attention on more complex patients.

Beyond clinical care, Dr. Ramasamy encourages Ramos’ involvement in academics, research and professional organizations. For example, Ramos has co-authored two scientific papers in as many years under Dr. Ramasamy’s mentoring and guidance, and is currently working on three more.

“The knowledge I have acquired – and continue to acquire – working with Dr. Ramasamy is immeasurable,” Ramos said.

Going forward, this collaboration could lead to a urology and reproductive medicine fellowship for nurse practitioners.

The Award for Advocate Excellence also helps increase awareness and appreciation of the role nurse practitioners play, Dr. Ramasamy said. “We work with nurse practitioners all the time, but more often than not we take them for granted.

“Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are not only completely qualified to make decisions on behalf of physicians, they are able to perform a lot of procedures, and follow up with patients much more rigorously because of lower time constraints on them,” he added.

The culture at the Miller School places a huge emphasis on fostering independence among physician extenders, Dr. Ramasamy said. “The nurse practitioners are allowed to have their own clinics, see patients on their own and grow within the department as independent providers. It doesn’t happen often at other places.”

Dr. Ramasamy is scheduled to receive the award in person at an American Association of Nurse Practitioners ceremony in June.

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