Paula Bellin, MD, Urology, Surgery, UMass Memorial Medical Center
Patients seek treatment from Paula Bellin, MD, for a range of sometimes embarrassing or even painful urologic problems. These issues include kidney stones, recurrent UTIs, cancer and incontinence caused by multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord disease or other medical conditions. But aside from the relief of their physical discomforts, patients want their concerns to be heard by a compassionate caregiver.
“I sit down with every patient, face-to-face, with no desk between us,” Dr. Bellin said. “Those few minutes I spend listening and reassuring my patients can mean all the world to them. I want them to know that I take their issues seriously and we will work together to figure out what is happening.”
Some patients come to Dr. Bellin when other doctors have been unable to successfully diagnose or treat their problems. She recalled an 83-year old man from Albania who thought he was destined to spend the rest of his life wearing a catheter. After performing a straight-forward prostate procedure, the catheter was removed and Dr. Bellin was able to restore the patient’s quality of life. “He and his family were so grateful, they hugged and kissed me,” she said. “Those are the moments that stick with me and are so satisfying. But, really, I am just doing my job.”
Sometimes doing her job means responding to a call at 2 am to perform emergency surgery. Then, Dr. Bellin knows she can count on a team of dedicated caregivers to attend to all of her patients’ needs. “My colleagues support each other and we all work to take care of our patients as a team,” she said. This is standard operating procedure for UMass Memorial Medical Center caregivers, every day, 24/7.
“We have physician assistants and nurse practitioners who help us get patients in the door and perform triage,” Dr. Bellin said. “We have amazing support from our great clinical and administrative staff. We want patients to know we are all working hard, together, to take care of them. That is what gets me up in the morning and keeps me excited about coming to work – to help people.”