Continuing our physician spotlight series on the blog, we recently caught up with one of our Urologists, Dr. Tom Walsh and asked him a few questions.
SRM: Where is your hometown?
I was born in the suburbs of Chicago, but my family sought to leave the “rat race” and moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 1976.
SRM: When did you first think about going into medicine?
My father is a surgeon (retired now), so I thought about medicine at a very early age. I began working for my dad when I was only 9 years old, doing odd jobs around his office. In high school, I became “certain” that I would go into medicine. I was (still am!) an idealist, and a career in medicine seemed like one of the best ways to positively impact our society.
SRM: Why did you choose to specialize in Urology and then subspecialize in Infertility Urology?
At first, I wanted to be a transplant surgeon. But my then future wife (a co-student at Northwestern) suggested that I consider Urology. Urology combined the best parts of medicine and surgery. Historically, urologists have always been at the forefront of innovation – and I knew this was the place for me.
As a urology resident, I elected to pursue a master’s degree in epidemiology, and my thesis revolved around testis cancer in young men. Through this work, it became readily apparent to me that male reproductive health and fertility were grossly under-studied. I realized that this was an arena in which I could have a tremendous impact on Men’s Health.
Beyond these aspects, I love the technical aspects of micro surgery and I love working with a young and motivated cohort of patients. It is the patients that make my work the most rewarding.
SRM: What is the most challenging part of your work?
Hands down: the financial challenges that some patients face in seeking reproductive care. In my ideal world, every couple experiencing infertility would have access to high quality fertility care without financial barrier.
SRM: What kind of work would you choose to do if you weren’t a physician?
I think I would be in tech development, perhaps engineering. I love innovation and have always been fascinated by “how things work.”
SRM: What do you do to relax?
Run! Recently I have taken up marathon running. I always feel like I have my best ideas and have a vision of my best self when I’m running (right around mile 12!). I also love being with my wife and children.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Walsh.