To be on the cutting edge, you have to continuously sharpen your skills using the latest product innovations. Cook Medical’s Vista® Education and Training program helps you stay at the top of your game—providing you with specialized training from physicians who are passionate about urology. We spoke with Dr. Kerri Barnes about her experience attending a PCNL course led by Dr. Ben Chew at Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Q: How did you get connected with Cook’s Vista program?
A: I started at the University of Kansas (KU) Urology Department September 1 . It was my first job right out of residency. Mark, our Cook representative at KU, introduced himself right away and wanted to make sure I had everything I needed. He had been involved in a few cases I had done, [such as] stone cases and percs, and he brought this opportunity up to me.
Q: Why did you choose the course on Cook products for PCNL?
A: I did a lot of PCNLs in training and felt really comfortable with them. But it’s interesting—when you go out on your own and start doing cases, you realize no one is really watching you anymore. So it was a good opportunity for me to ask a lot of questions and watch [Dr. Chew] work his way through a problem.
Q: What were your impressions of the course?
A: It was fantastic. I got my own personal experience. The night before we worked in the operating room, we met for dinner and [Dr. Chew] gave a great talk on his clinical experience and cases, and then the next day we had the cases, so I was already introduced to him. The Cook reps were very comfortable with the hospital, so they could show me around. And I really just got to be right there in the thick of it and could ask questions, and it was kind of my own little personal tutorial.
“When you go out on your own and start doing cases, you realize no one is really watching you anymore.”
Q: What stood out to you with regard to the setting and setup of the course?
A: You have to have a good preceptor. [Dr. Chew] has obviously been doing this for a long time and is very skilled, so he can run a busy OR, have residents, but also pay attention [to those attending the course]. He really made the course because he was just so open, which is so important for someone like me who is trying to learn. It was a very comfortable environment and [it] was really easy for me to get in there and watch.
Q: What are your thoughts on the products that were discussed?
A: I think the products are great. I learned a lot about different baskets that are available. I talked to Mark right when I got back and sent him a list of baskets that I want, so definitely it helps expand your products because you’re getting to see them used in real life. The NGage® [Nitinol Stone Extractor] was probably what I was most impressed with.
“It was kind of my own little personal tutorial.”
Q: How do you plan to incorporate your Vista experience into your practice?
A: At Vancouver, they have a stone center where the urologist collaborates with the interventional radiologist. The patient doesn’t have to have two anesthetics; it’s not two separate procedures—it’s all in one. When I got back, on my next perc case I went and got access with the [interventional radiologist] and was like, “Hey, I’m Kerri; can I help?” and we talked through the access. It showed me [that] if I’m going to do a lot of these cases, I need to team with [them]. It really inspired me and got me all revved up. And I’ve talked [to my team] about doing a stone center. It may not happen for a while but it’s something on our radar now.
Never stop improving.
Cook’s Vista programs are for both new and experienced physicians. In an intimate, small-group setting you’ll take a closer look at a procedure and learn about Cook’s comprehensive product offering. For questions, please contact VistaUS-URO@cookmedical.com or visit vista.cookmedical.com/urology.
Kerri Barnes, MD, MPH, is an assistant professor of urology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She obtained her undergraduate degree (BS in biochemistry, graduating summa cum laude) at the University of Missouri, in Columbia, Missouri. She attended medical school at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, and dually completed her urology residency and Master of Public Health degree while at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.
Cook Medical covered Dr. Barnes’ travel expenses for the Vista program that she attended.