Alan Doherty is chosen as UK top ten prostate cancer surgeon in Daily Mail vote by fellow urologists

Daily Mail

BPC urologist Alan Doherty has been named as one of the country’s top ten prostate cancer surgeons by a Daily Mail poll of urologists.

It is the second time that Mr Doherty has appeared in the Daily Mail’s top ten prostate cancer surgeons, having also been chosen in the first survey in 2010.

Only four specialists have made the top ten twice and Mr Doherty is the only prostate cancer surgeon in the whole Midland region to make the list.

The Daily Mail’s Good Doctor Guide is based on the principle that it is doctors themselves who are best placed to know the best specialists within their field. Consultant urologists were asked: “If your own nearest and dearest were to need treatment, to whom would you refer them and why?”

Prostate cancer surgeons with the most nominations are placed in the top ten in the Good Doctors Guide, while others with significant votes but outside the top ten are also noted.

Daily Mail Alan Doherty

Urologists described why they had chosen Mr Doherty. One described Mr Doherty as: “A surgeon who does huge numbers of prostatectomies, including nerve-sparing, and is immensely skilled and kind. Frankly, the tool – be it robot of scalpel doesn’t matter, the outcomes do and his are very good.”

Another urologist said: “He (Mr Doherty) gathers his data meticulously, the hallmark of the best surgeons.”

The guide gives a comprehensive consideration of what makes a good doctor and the things a patient should ask when considering where to go for treatment.

GP Thomas Stuttaford, a Daily Mail expert writer who has had prostate cancer himself, explains: “Whatever method you choose, you should ask your surgeon how many procedures they have carried out and what their personal results are.”

Professor Chris Eden, a prostate cancer surgeon who is also featured in the top ten advises he wouldn’t “send my own relative to anyone doing fewer than 100 prostatectomies a year – that’s what you need to maintain consistently good results.”

Mr Doherty is one of only four prostate cancer surgeons in the whole of the UK who make both the first top ten (published 2010) and the new list (June 2018). No other urologist in the whole Midlands region is featured in the latest top ten.

“I am really delighted to be chosen for a second time,” said Mr Doherty. “It is a very good principle: if I was considering having ankle surgery, for example, the first thing I would do would be to pick up the phone and contact colleagues working in the orthopaedic field to ask them who is the best person to see.

“That’s an advantage we have as consultants and this type of guide extends that advantage to patients. Choosing your surgeon is extremely important: people can focus on a particular procedure or technique but ultimately it is the person carrying it out who is the most important factor in your outcome.

“I am really pleased to see the comments which have been made about my work, and the emphasis in the guide as a whole about the importance of having a consistently high volume of prostate cancer surgery and auditing your results. We have placed great importance on volume and audit for many years.”

Mr Doherty carries out 150 to 200 prostatectomies per year and overall, with a total volume of 3,000. He was one of the first surgeons to audit and publish his results in a way that is accessible and meaningful to patients. This was recognised in 2012 at the Health Service Journal Awards when the BPC online results centre was highly commended.