Dr. Psutka is a physician at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance specializing in urology.
I strive to provide comprehensive, compassionate patient-centered care with a focus on empowering and partnering with patients from the point of diagnosis, preparation for treatment, through surgery, recovery and survivorship. My goal is to ensure that patients fully understand their options so that they can make an informed decision regarding their treatment they are comfortable with and to maintain clear and open communication. I believe strongly in understanding the whole patient and tailoring therapy on an individual basis according to each patient’s needs with the objective of optimizing patient-centered outcomes.
- Assistant Professor, Urology, UW School of Medicine
- MD: Harvard Medical School
- Residency: Massachusetts General Hospital
- Fellowship: Mayo Clinic
I grew up helping in my father’s surgical practice. I observed the challenges of illness and all of the aspects of medicine that come together to help a patient heal, recover, and maintain wellness. I have always loved science and biology. I marveled at the intricacies of the human body’s adaptiveness and the interactions between biology, form and function. I love that a career as a physician and surgeon allows me to interact with many people who come from all backgrounds. I have a passion for providing comprehensive care and work hard to empower patients and help them to lead lives that will allow them to regain and maintain their health, independence and wellness even after a diagnosis of cancer.
I am passionate about clinical research. Particularly, I am engaged in work regarding the development and validation of novel, quantitative, patient-specific risk stratification metrics, such as those related to body composition including sarcopenia and adiposity, or functional metrics such as frailty, in advanced genitourinary malignancies to enhance patient counseling and shared decision-making. One of my objectives in this project is to identify patients who may benefit from prehabilitative interventions prior to surgery and to develop clinical trials that will test ways in which we may improve perioperative and oncologic outcomes, as well as quality of life, for our patients with advanced genitourinary cancers. I also study the development of decision aids to facilitate shared decision-making with patients, particularly for patients with low health literacy, and in disparities research. Finally, I am committed to mentoring and supporting trainees as they develop their research interests and to fostering the development of their clinical research skill set and their foundation as developing surgeon scientists.
I hope that we will continue to work on ensuring we treat the whole person, improving our ability to tailor therapies according to an individual patient's needs. These needs are informed not only by their cancer characteristics, but also by fully understanding an individual's other health needs and concerns such as competing comorbidities, their psychological and mental strengths, their cultural and family priorities and, ultimately, understanding what “wellness” looks like to that patient. I hope we will continue to improve on how we incorporate patient-reported outcomes into our measurements of our successes in treating cancers. Finally, I look forward to further understanding how multimodal therapy can be risk-adapted to permit us to move towards the ultimate goal of survivorship while minimizing the burden of treatment on a patient and his or her family.
Outside of caring for patients, I love to run and hike outside with my husband and child. I also enjoy reading, cooking and traveling. I enjoy incorporating my work as part of travel and have been involved in surgical education and outreach in developing countries such as Mongolia.