Dr. Phillip Brenner was previously head of St Vincents urology unit in Sydney, New South Wales. A practicing urological surgeon for well over 20 years, Dr. Brenner specializes in treating patients with urological cancers, with a particular emphasis on treating cancer of the prostate as well as cancer of the kidneys. Throughout the course of a truly remarkable career, Dr. Brenner has performed extensive research within his multiple fields of expertise and has published countless articles concerning his findings in medical journals and other publications.
The internationally renowned surgeon has enjoyed tremendous success using the Da Vinci Robot to perform robotic radical prostatectomy as well as robotic-assisted laparoscopic partial nephrectomy. The doctor’s use of this technology has made enabled him to offer patients a minimally invasive treatment option that also ensures the preservation of kidney function. During his celebrated career as a urological surgeon, Dr. Brenner has performed over 1,000 open radical prostatectomies in addition to more than 750 laparoscopic procedures.
Dr. Brenner completed his fellowship training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, which is rightly considered one of the world’s most prominent cancer centers. Following the completion of his training at Sloan-Kettering, Dr. Brenner continued to expand his insight into his chosen field by studying at cancer centers throughout the United States. He ultimately returned to Sydney, Australia, where he began practicing at St. Vincent’s Hospital. In addition to his role as the head of the urology unit at St. Vincent’s, Dr. Brenner continues to perform research through the Garvan Institute and also holds a conjoint senior lectureship at the University of New South Wales.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I knew very early on that I wanted to enter a profession in which I could provide a great deal of help to those who need it most.
How do you make money?
The hospital generates revenue in the same manner as most other hospitals, which is mainly through insurance.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
I invested quite a bit in my education and traveled extensively throughout the United States in order to undergo additional training. As a result, I incurred a fair amount of debt that took several years to pay back. It was only then that my career as a urologist became a profitable endeavor.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
No, especially after I was selected for a fellowship at Sloan-Kettering in New York. I was honored to accept and have never had any doubts regarding my knowledge or my abilities as a urological surgeon.
How did you get your first customer?
Our clinic makes sure to reach out to patients who may be in need of our specialized level of care, and it was through this strategy that I was able to treat my first patient in the urology unit at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Although I am not sure precisely how well it works in generating new business, I know that the support of my research efforts St. Vincent’s has provided through the Garvan Institute has helped raise greater public awareness of what we are able to accomplish and how we are able to accomplish it.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I encounter tough decisions that could dramatically alter the life of a patient and the patient’s family every single day, and no amount of experience will ever make those decisions any easier.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I’ve always felt that it is of the utmost importance to find ways to give back to the medical field in any way possible, and my dedication to advancing the field of urology has certainly played a role in the career-long success I have enjoyed thus far.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
There are few things more satisfying than sharing the results of a successful surgical procedure with the patient, especially when the patient has endured multiple hardships along the way.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I’m tremendously excited about the benefits made possible through the use of the Da Vinci Robot, which I’ve used to perform minimally invasive procedures and to help preserve kidney function where it might not have otherwise been possible.
What business books have inspired you?
“Built to Last,” by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
Purchasing the Da Vinci Robot is easily among the best decisions we have ever made, as it has really enabled us to treat our patients in a more efficient and effective manner than ever before.
In which publications can examples of your research be found?
My work has been published in a number of medical journals over the years, including Surgical Oncology and The Journal of Urology.