Peter Carroll, MD, MPH, asked for perfection from his faculty members when he became chair of Urology at UCSF in 1996. He got it, and he gave it.
As a surgeon and a researcher, Carroll cares deeply about his patients and has advocated tirelessly against over treatment of prostate cancer patients with low-risk disease. His program of “active surveillance,” which he has championed both nationally and globally, has meant that many patients have not required treatment, just active follow up. He has also contributed to a national dialogue about clinical research and policy.
“Our goal is not to detect and treat every cancer,” he says. “Our goal is to detect only those cancers which will represent a risk to a man over his lifetime.”
Carroll arrived at UCSF as a young surgical resident. He then completed his residency in urology before returning to the East Coast to do a fellowship in urologic oncology and cancer of the urinary tract. He came back to UCSF in 1986 as a faculty member. His remarkable 20-plus-year stint as urology chair has made the department one of the finest in the country and the number-one recipient of National Institutes of Health funding for the past three years.
In his early years at UCSF, Carroll’s foresight led him to invest in a tissue biobank, which is now benefiting another generation of clinician-scientists.
“Peter had an expansive vision and his focus was to be the best department in the country,” says Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, who joined the UCSF faculty in 1985, a year ahead of Carroll. “He did it through force of personality and by being a role model of what a chair should be.”
“He would always say ‘Your success is my success,’” says June Chan, ScD, a longtime UCSF Department of Urology faculty member and Carroll mentee.
As Carroll prepares for more years to come at UCSF, his 30-year anniversary and dedication to patient-centered care and to improving the lives of his patients was recognized at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Showcase on April 20.
“I learn from the past, but I am always thinking about the future,” Carroll says.
For a celebratory video of Peter Carroll, please view below.