Dr Lawrence Lind, The Pelvic Floor Doctor
My interest in caring and healing began with a childhood love for pets, and recognizing that pets suffered illnesses just like humans. I grew up with modest means sharing a bedroom with two sisters in the Bronx, walking to school, delivering newspapers for small change, and cleaning dog cages in exchange for the privilege of observing veterinarians. Working for a veterinarian in high school, I observed medical cures and watched life saving operations, and I knew I needed to be a ‘healer,’ although animals verses pets was yet to be decided. I saw one element of care missing from veterinary medicine which was the verbal exchange with the patient. When I saw that pets did not understand the process, and growing myself to enjoy verbal dialogue, it was a natural transition to move my focus to caring for people rather than animals.
I attended college at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. In this very small college, I did not realize that classes in professors campus homes, with emphasis on verbal exchange was a unique setting to master verbal exchange, self- presentation, and clarity of speech. With personal computers just entering the market, who knew this emphasis on speaking and dialogue would serve me so well 30 years later when social media, smartphones, and the electronic medical record would pull people away from excellent verbal interpersonal exchange. The first unique emphasis my patients notice is that my focus is on the patient; truly listening, looking at each patient face to face, with all electronic recording of the visit happening after the care is complete in your visit.
Summers in college were spent in psychiatric care facilities learning the various psychological problems people encounter and again, furthering my development of verbal encounters while learning the beginning of medical diagnostics for mental illnesses.
CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDICAL COLLEGE
I attended medical school at Cornell University Medical College in Manhattan where I was fortunate to be trained by world experts in many diseases and some of the most prominent surgeons in the country. I recall the lecture by one of our faculty, who was actually part of the research team that discovered that cholesterol was a risk factor for heart disease, that it could be tested, and we could control it to reduce heart disease. My own professor proved that! I recall the lecture where it was described that a baby aspirin could reduce the risk of a heart attack. Things we take for granted today were NEW discoveries presented by staff I was fortunate to learn from. There was a lecture series by one of the few direct disciples of Masters and Johnson, the pioneers in human sexuality, a focus which has become an important part of my present practice.
RESIDENCY IN OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY
NORTH SHORE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL –CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
My interest turned to obstetrics & gynecology as I realized I enjoyed the blended skills of an OB/Gyn which included good interactional skills, medical management of illness, preventative medicine, and surgery. The unique scenario of have two patient in one body, ( a pregnant patient ) was most interesting to me and led me to pursue a residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
It was a natural transition to spend 4 years in residency at North Shore Hospital –Cornell University Medical Center. Presently the Health system has its own medical school and is a Hofstra University affiliate, but at the time, the hospital was a direct training program of my medical school, Cornell. Ob/Gyn indeed commanded the required blend of skill I described previously.
SPECIALTY FELLOWSHIP TRAINING: FEMALE PELVIC MEDICINE AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY – HARBOR / U.C.L.A. MEDICAL CENTER
Ultimately, I was drawn to a new subspecialty of Ob/Gyn called Urogynecology (now certified as ‘Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery’). Urogynecology begins with a base training in Obstetrics and Gynecology (4 year residency) and then adds 2-3 years of additional specialty training to focus on problems of the female pelvis including bladder control, difficulty urinating, bladder frequency, prolapse or ‘dropping’ of female pelvic organs, sexual health, and problems related to peri-menopause and menopausal changes. At the time I applied for this specialty fellowship training there only 5-10 training programs in the nation. I was accepted and attended fellowship at Harbor / U.C.L.A. Medical Center in California, again earning the fortune to be trained by physicians who were authoring the leading texts in this rising specialty. Entering the field early, the need for this specialty is strongly evident as there are now more than 40 training fellowships nationally !
The development of the specialty came from a realization, that several organs, and medical specialties have related anatomy, and can cause similar symptoms. Before this specialty was developed, such patients may have treated by 3-4 different specialists. For example, the bladder sits just above the uterus and problems in gynecology and urology often overlap. The rectum, sits just behind the vagina and and typically is treated by a gastroenterologist, proctologist, or colorectal surgeon.
Urogynecology does not replace these specialties, but the training allows a urogyencologist to understand the interrelationships of these organs, specialties, and medical problems, to allow a more comprehensive management with one physician. Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery is now recognized nationally and internationally as a necessary expertise important for women’s health. The specialty is now certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. I am proud to be one of the first Urogynecologists in Long Island to be formally Board Certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as certified in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.
LONG ISLAND’S FIRST SPECIALTY DIVISION OF FEMALE PRELVIC MEDIVCINE AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY: FOUNDED IN 1996
Following fellowship, I returned to Long Island to the Hospital of my residency, and opened the first Urogynecology Specialty Center in Long Island. The demand for this specialty was clear with my schedule completely booked prior to my arrival and first day of practice. Starting with one assistant, the practice has grown into the largest female pelvic medicine specialty center in the New York – Metropolital Area. We now have 8 full time urogynecologists which makes our practice the largest specialty practice in Female Pelvic Medicine in the region.
Twenty-two years later, I remain with the same practice and same institution having cared for medically and surgically more pelvic floor patients than any other program in the metropolitan area. The coordinated care centers of the Northwell Health System, with 17 hospital affiliations allows a broad geographic region in which to share our expertise. Our physicians collectively have more than 125-years of experience specifically in the specialty of Female Pelvic Medicine. The care we offer is coordinated when necessary with urology experts, colorectal and gastroenterology experts, and specially trained female pelvic physical therapists. Our caring nurse practitioners and physician’s assistance provide personal care in pelvic floor therapy, sexual medicine, and post-operative care.
CERTIFIED TRAINING CENTER FOR THE FUTURE EXOERTS IN FEMALE PELVIC MEDICINE
Eight years ago we began the first self -standing board approved fellowship training program on Long island. Under the leadership of Harvey Winkler, MD, my partner of 15 years, we have the only ‘free-standing’ certified training center on Long Island. Brilliant physicians travel from all part of the country to spend three years training under our leadership. The research division, led by Dara Shalom, MD, has more than 50 original publications and book chapters, and presents several times yearly at national academic conferences.
With all this growth and all the regulations that come with medicine in 2018, what has not changed is that I will take your history face to face, focus directly on you, not distracted by typing, and each patient has the cumulative growth of knowledge of double board certification and 22 years specialty experience.