One of the very few urologists in all of Australia with the depth of knowledge and specificity of training needed to treat patients with urological cancers such as kidney and prostate cancer, Dr. Phillip Brenner has assisted countless patients in need of a truly specialized level of care at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, New South Wales.
Dr. Brenner, who completed a fellowship at the renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center based in New York, has performed more than 1,000 radical prostatectomies along with more than 750 laparoscopic procedures throughout the course of his illustrious and achievement-laden career. Previously the head of the urology unit at St. Vincent’s, Dr. Brenner has repeatedly demonstrated the invaluable nature of his leadership and expertise in promoting the best possible patient outcomes.
1. What do you do for work?
As a urological surgeon, I care for patients who might be dealing with a wide range of issues, including kidney or prostate cancer. I was previously the head of the urology unit at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, New South Wales, and I also perform medical research on prostate and kidney cancer through the Garvan Institute.
2. Why did you choose to pursue a career in the field in which you currently work?
The medical profession appealed to me due to nothing more than the frequent opportunity to help the people who are most in need of immediate care.
3. In what way does your professional role make it possible for you to have a positive impact on others?
In my role as a urological surgeon and head of the urology unit, I have the opportunity to work directly with patients and doctors with the goal of achieving the best possible outcome for the patient. My unique skill set as a surgeon — as well as the breadth of my understanding of urological cancers — ensures that patients dealing with complex issues will have access to nothing but the most outstanding level of medical care.
4. What is it that you enjoy most about living in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia?
Since I live and work in Sydney, I often have the pleasure of running into former patients or their friends and family members whenever I happen to be out and about. It is nice to hear a positive patient update and to know that my care had a significant impact on the patient and their loved ones.
5. What do you do for recreation?
There is no shortage of recreational opportunities in Sydney, but I really enjoy tennis, skiing, and sailing whenever I have the opportunity to do so.
If you could travel anywhere outside of Australia, where would you go and why?
I’d head back to the US to visit Manhattan and some other places throughout the Northeast, particularly since I still have many close friends from the time I spent at Sloan-Kettering.
Aussie rules football, cricket, rugby or something else?
Something else! I enjoy skiing, sailing and tennis.
8. Is there an Australian you admire or who has had a profound influence on you personally or professionally? Explain.
As a medical researcher myself, I have long admired Basil Hetzel and all that he was able to contribute to the field of medicine through his outstanding research.
9. What advice would you give to a first-time visitor to Australia?
Sydney is a great place for a first-time visitor looking to become acquainted with Australian culture while enjoying some of the more traditional components of a holiday.
10. What is the funniest or strangest question a tourist has ever asked you about Australia?
A visitor once tugged on my shirt to earnestly ask me how he could go about renting the “giant sailboat over there in the harbor,” which, upon turning to look in the direction in which he was pointing, I discovered was the Sydney Opera House and not a sailboat at all. I’d never heard of anyone making that mistake before, and I am confident that I won’t ever hear of it again.