Looking back, Dr. West says there were two bellwether events in her life that pointed to her future in urology. “In high school I made a perfect score on a genitourinary system test in anatomy, and I did a research project in college on hormone receptors in prostate cancer during a summer fellowship at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Research Division in Smithville, Texas.”
The self-described “Army brat” whose family moved around quite a bit and lived in Germany for a time, admits she’s always had a love for science and nature. By the time Dr. West’s family settled in Texas, she was a high school student and National Merit Commended Scholar with a keen interest in medicine. After majoring in zoology at the University of Texas at Austin, she earned her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB).
“In medical school, I just really ended up liking urology,” she says. “It offers a solution to a problem.
That’s the nice part of surgery—you can remove kidney stones and some cancers.” An internship and residency in urology at UTMB allowed her to hone her skills and knowledge.
As a general urologist, Dr. West likes the range of care she provides both men and women who suffer from a variety of issues—including kidney stones, BPH, incontinence, and urinary tract infections. “There is a lot of ongoing care,” she says. “It’s that continuity of care that allows me to get to know my patients and develop long-term relationships with them. I’ve found that my patients really appreciate that.”
In private practice since 2001, Dr. West understands that talking about incontinence, sexual issues, or a urinary problem can make individuals apprehensive. “I try to make it less daunting and help my patients feel more comfortable by explaining everything in real language,” she says. “I carefully walk my patients through everything so there is clarity and no surprises.”
As a founder of Urology Partners, Dr. West is glad to be part of a practice where the physician-led mission is very clear—patients first. “The relationships I have with my patients are so important, and I think they set me apart,” she says.
When she isn’t caring for her patients, Dr. West loves to travel. She also likes to exercise and cook. “I hope the two balance one another out,” she jokes. She and her husband, Ramzi, enjoy spending time with their daughter.