2017 Top Doctor: Michael Nguyen, M.D.

Written by Editorial Staff Category: Profiles Issue: April 2017
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Pediatric Urology
Med School/Year Graduated: University of Arizona College of Medicine, 1997
Years in Practice: 11

How is pediatric urology clinically distinct from mainstream urology?
Pediatric urology generally involves more complex reconstruction and treating disorders that will last a lifetime. In addition, our patients are not just the child, but their parents and caretakers as well. It’s definitely a team effort.

Working with sick children sounds emotionally taxing. Do you have a coping strategy?  
It’s hard because I tend to worry about my patients, even when I’m not at work. Coming home to a loving family makes it easier.

Have you seen a rise in any urology issues over your tenure with Phoenix Children’s Hospital?  
As in many parts of the United States, we have seen a steady rise in the number of children with kidney stones. This may be attributed to poor diets and less fluid intake.

What are the challenges of working with pediatric patients? What ailments are most common?
Pediatric patients are definitely not little adults. Many are not able to speak and tell us what is hurting them. We tend to see many patients with urinary tract infections and foreskin issues.

You grew up in Mesa. How has it changed since your childhood? Why did you come back to Arizona after your residencies and fellowships elsewhere?
Being in the Valley since 1975, I have seen the tremendous growth the area has undergone. Driving up to Scottsdale involved taking a one-laned Pima Road, since there was no 101 freeway yet. I came back because I knew this is where I wanted to raise my family.

How has having children of your own affected your work?
It has made me better appreciate the concerns that parents have when their own children are sick. I will often ask myself if I would recommend the same surgery if this were my own child.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Besides playing golf with my friends or tennis with my wife, I enjoy spending time with my 6- and 4-year-old sons and all of their different athletic and school activities.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be...”  
I always tell my wife if I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be working for the National Security Agency in cybersecurity.