Meet Heather Lenz, PA-C, NAU Urology Specialists’ Newest Provider
Dr. Mistry: Hello, and welcome to the Armor Men’s Health Hour. I’m Dr. Mistry, your host, here as always with my exuberant, indispensable office manager and cohost Donna Lee .
Donna Lee: Hey, that’s me. I thought you were going to change it again and say, “Oh, but Donna’s here.”
Dr. Mistry: I’m in a good mood today.
Donna Lee: That’s nice.
Dr. Mistry: I’m appreciative of everybody’s role in my life.
Donna Lee: As you get sometimes with me, I noticed that we can come together, like the Beatles song, and do this show.
Dr. Mistry: Yeah, for the show .
Donna Lee: And act like we love each other again.
Dr. Mistry: That’s right. That’s right. And I think there’s nothing more important than being able to come together for a very, very important thing, like a show on men’s health. I’m a board certified urologist. This show is brought to you by practice that I founded in 2007, NAU Urology Specialists. And we’re so thankful to all the people here at news radio KLBJ 590 AM 99.7 FM, for helping us put on this show and all of our team members here. We really enjoy being able to give you what I believe is state of the art information in regards to men’s health, and really kind of talk about sensitive subjects with men in the same way that I would talk about these subjects in the office.
Donna Lee: Like about their yum yums and ding-a-lings?
Dr. Mistry: And their yum yums and ding-a-lings. This week we have a very special guest.
Donna Lee: We do.
Dr. Mistry: Heather Lenz. Hey, Heather.
Heather Lenz: Hello.
Donna Lee: Yay.
Dr. Mistry: Heather Lenz is the newest addition to Jurassic Park around here. She is a physician assistant, a recent graduate…
Donna Lee: And she’s cuter than a pterodactyl.
Heather Lenz: Thank you, Donna Lee.
Dr. Mistry: She’s a own professional woman, Donna Lee, who deserves more for you.
Donna Lee: She’s a very stunningly sweet and cute and smart person on our team.
Dr. Mistry: Well, she’s an awesome person. We chose her. We had so many PA candidates this time around that we stopped looking at resumes after 40.
Donna Lee: Oh my God. It was so many.
Dr. Mistry: And , you know, the market here in Austin is really hopping for people wanting a job here. And of course, we just were able to pick from the creme de la creme.
Donna Lee: It was awesome.
Dr. Mistry: I mean, not the creme de la creme. She didn’t go to Baylor. But let’s just say, let’s just say if there was a layer above, right below the creme de la creme, it would be UT Southwestern and that’s where she went to school. So, welcome to our practice, Heather.
Heather Lenz: Thank you so much, doctor.
Dr. Mistry: I thought that , um, uh , what we would do is talk a little bit about kind of what is the experience that you’ve had kind of beginning , you know , brand new , of course I’d like to hear what you, what you’d like to talk about, how your training was and, and why our listeners out there, if they do come to see us a lot of times after I see you initially, or even initially if you have an emergency you’re going to see a physician assistant provider, and how important that is to us to maintain what we’re doing. And Donna Lee, I think, you know, that the kind of medicine that we practice here is really amazing. We really think about the whole body approach, a holistic approach. We had several patients this week come to us, just for that approach, knowing that we do nutrition and pelvic floor physical therapy and so many things, so speaking to that. So when people want to come see us, how do they get ahold of us and where do they know our offices are?
Donna Lee: You can just scream really loud outside and I’ll hear it, like telepathically the right word. Or you can call (512) 238-0762. Or you can send us an email to email@example.com. We answer every one of them. And they’re amazing, every question that we get. And we make sure that it’s anonymous, so we don’t embarrass anybody.
Dr. Mistry: And if you do email us, please ask for a free t-shirt. We just have too many.
Donna Lee: We did get an email that said , “I just want a t-shirt.”
Dr. Mistry: “I just want a t-shirt.” Tha’s right. It worked. It worked.
Donna Lee: I sent it out. So yes, you’re welcome. But also listen to our podcasts , wherever you catch your podcasts for free.
Dr. Mistry: So Heather, a lot of people out there may not know what a physician assistant is, how they work within a team environment, and even what kind of requirements you need to become one. Did you go to college?
Heather Lenz: Of course, I went to college. I went to four years of undergrad.
Dr. Mistry: At?
Heather Lenz: At the University of Texas.
Dr. Mistry: The University of Texas, right here.
Donna Lee: That’s right. Two longhorns sitting here.
Dr. Mistry: That’s right. I got my MBA from there. And you got a bachelor’s degree from there. And then was it your desire to go into medicine early on?
Heather Lenz: I had always wanted to be related to medicine. So yes, the answer is I wanted to be a part of the healthcare field. Initially thought I wanted to be a pharmacist and worked in a pharmacy and just decided, you know, I wanted some more patient contact. I really am passionate about being empathetic and open and vulnerable in a space with a patient. So that’s why I really like urology.
Dr. Mistry: Well, that’s awesome. You spent some time as an eye care technician, you spent some time in a pharmacy, and you spent some time doing dermatology. What’d you do there in dermatology?
Heather Lenz: Yeah, so I was a medical assistant there, which is similar to a nurse that works in an outpatient office. So I assisted in mohs surgery there, so that’s a surgery that removes skin cancer. I did a lot of just basic dermatology, so rashes, acne, all that kind of good stuff.
Dr. Mistry: Then you took that interest in medicine and then you applied for PA school and there’s how many PA schools in Texas, about?
Heather Lenz: I think there’s about, oh gosh, I think I applied to 9 at the time, but I think there’s more now.
Dr. Mistry: So, so there’s somewhere between 9 and 15 PA schools, and your average class size, I guess at Baylor there was about 20. How many, how many at Southwestern?
Heather Lenz: I had 51 when I graduated, started with 55. So yeah, it’s pretty competitive to get into.
Dr. Mistry: So what’s interesting is that there are, you know, fewer PA spots in Texas than medical school spots because you know, the Baylor, you know, Medical School class is 200 people.
Heather Lenz: Yeah, very true.
Dr. Mistry: And it takes how long to get through it?
Heather Lenz: So the whole school , mine was 30 months continuous, so you don’t, you know , you don’t get your summers off or anything like that. I would say the average program is about 27 months.
Dr. Mistry: Well , you know, 27 to 30 months , whereas medical school going formally is going to take you about 43years, but you know, some schools even cut it down to three. You know, here in Austin, the Dell Medical School, one of the years is dedicated to a different kind of experience, which makes in my feeling better doctors, but it’s really a little shorter of dedicated medical education. And then during the course of medical school at Baylor, a lot of the PA’s took classes with the medical students. Is that how it was with you?
Heather Lenz: Yes . So the beginning of my program, I took some physiology and anatomy classes as well as did a cadaver lab with medical students. So similar definitely intro courses. And then of course the rest of the courses are just really concise, but very similar education style to medical students.
Dr. Mistry: And then after we learned the basics, then we go through and go through different rotations where you observe people practicing medicine, really learned the trade. And then after you graduate, you go look for a job. And what’s interesting about a PA, which is different than a physician, is that we are really only specifically trained in one area. So I mean, as much as I may want to go and fix somebody’s broken femur, it would probably be looked down upon. They’re like stick to the one bone that you’re dealing with.
Donna Lee: The one non-bone.
Dr. Mistry: Well, good . You know Heather’s new because she’s still laughing at my jokes .
Donna Lee: That’s right. That’s right.
Dr. Mistry: So then after that, we were really fortunate to get you to join us. And a lot of people out there may think of urology in a certain way. And you’ve now been able to experience kind of urology in a different way. Maybe you could just kind of point out where do you think the big difference is in how you perceive what a urologist does compared to what they, you know , what they routinely see?
Heather Lenz: Yeah. So I definitely think it’s a lot more diverse than I initially thought. You know, we deal with not only bladder conditions, but prostate, you know, definitely penile concerns, and sexual concerns as well as kidney related things. So , and it’s a cross, you know, it’s something that affects both men and women, you know, pretty much at any point in their lifetime. So I definitely think it’s just much more diverse than I ever expected.
Dr. Mistry: Well, what’s really fascinating , uh , about having so many incredible, enthusiastic, and in most cases, younger members of our team is that you’re a lot closer to the basic medical knowledge. So , just this morning we discussed cases in which, you know, the fact that you’re closer to treating hypertension and knowing those initial guidelines, and you’re closer to treating high cholesterol and especially in a practice like ours, where we really care about the whole person. You know, if you come in with fertility issues, but you’re 40 pounds overweight and you have two drug hypertension, you know, we’re going to make sure that all of those things are well-treated and having your expertise and your knowledge just recently out of school…high school? I was about to say high school.
Donna Lee: You almost said high school.
Dr. Mistry: Wow. I’m an old man. Really goes a long way to making sure that we’re providing that top notch care.
Heather Lenz: Right. And I definitely think that, you know, that is what everyone here focuses on is that holistic approach.
Dr. Mistry: Well, that’s great. And , you’re just brand new, I mean, just like 4 weeks into our practice, and we’ve just really enjoyed having you on board. I think all of our patients out there that have been, you know, really trying to get an appointment with us, it’s going to be easier to make those fall appointments and get to see us. Is there, is there a particular area of urology that you found to be, you know , really exciting that you can’t wait to learn a lot more about?
Heather Lenz: Um, I definitely think the sexual side of urology is something that we just don’t learn as much of in PA school, and it’s just kind of new to me. But I do find it super fascinating. Again, it’s one of those vulnerable spaces that I’m interested in and would love to learn more about.
Dr. Mistry: You know, this week we got to see a really interesting case of sexual aversion disorder, and it’s one of those topics that if you were , you know, I think, and I shake my head…if this guy had ended up in almost any other urology practice, he would have been given some pills and sent on his way. And how lucky it is that we have sex therapy onsite, pelvic floor physical therapy onsite , but really a whole group of physicians that know that if you’re a 20, you know, guy in your early twenties coming in and you’re complaining about erectile dysfunction, there’s probably some more there, and you need to really look deeper and make sure you’re really attacking the root of that person’s questions. So we really look forward to you being part of our practice, Heather. So welcome on board . And for those of you out there that are looking for a great practitioner, I know you’re going to find one in Heather. Donna Lee, how do people find us and make an appointment with us?
Speaker 1: You can call us during the week at (512) 238-0762 . You can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and our website is armormenshealth.com and check out our podcasts. They’re free. They’re magical. They’re amazing. Thanks, Heather.
: The Armor Men’s Health Hour is brought to you by Urology Specialists. For questions, or to schedule an appointment, please call (512) 238-0762 or online at Armour men’s health.com.