Douglas G. Stein, M.D.
Diplomate, American Board of Urology
Director, Vasectomy and Reversal Centers of Florida (www.VASWEB.com)
President, No-Scalpel Vasectomy International, Inc. (www.NSVI.org)
Co-Founder, World Vasectomy Day, Inc. (www.WVD.org)
After completing his Residency in Urology at the University of South Florida Affiliated Hospitals in 1983, Dr. Doug Stein practiced adult general urology in Tampa for 17 years. In 1996, he became a provider of vasectomy under Title 10 and at a number of locations outside his main office in Tampa. In 2000, he stopped seeing new general urology patients to provide more time to focus on making vasectomy more user-friendly and more available to low income men without health insurance, through Title 10. He was soon providing vasectomy services at up to 21 locations throughout Peninsular Florida. He and his associate of 3 years are now the contracted vasectomy services providers under Title 10 for 33 of Florida’s 67 counties. In 2010, he became an active vasectomy mission participant with No Scalpel Vasectomy International (NSVI). Now President of NSVI, he has organized 38 vasectomy missions to a variety of countries including the Philippines, Haiti, Kenya, Mexico, and Indonesia. During a mission to Kenya in 2012, while working on a documentary film (The Vasectomist), he and filmmaker Jonathan Stack developed the concept of a “World Vasectomy Day” to celebrate the men who participate in family planning and the doctors who provide the services. Now in its seventh year, the annual World Vasectomy Day celebration is the largest male oriented family planning event in history. WVD works with governments and family planning agencies to promote vasectomy worldwide, while NSVI partners with World Vasectomy Day to provide vasectomy services and training of local doctors during and between WVD events.
After completing residency training in 1983, Dr. Doug Stein practiced adult general urology for over 17 years in Tampa, Florida. In 2000, he stopped seeing new general urology patients to devote all of his time to vasectomy and vasectomy reversal, eventually providing vasectomy services at up to 21 locations in Florida, many under the federal Title 10 program for low-income men without insurance. In 2010, he began his international vasectomy mission work and has now led 38 vasectomy missions to a variety of countries including the Philippines, Haiti, Kenya, Mexico, and Indonesia. In addition to training doctors overseas, Dr. Stein has provided individualized training for 124 doctors from 5 continents at his main office in Tampa. He has performed over 45,000 vasectomies and 1750 vasectomy reversals.
Reasons for exiting General Urology:
- Other urologists were doing a fine job at taking care of other urologic issues, but none were trying to make vasectomy user-friendly, especially to low-income men without insurance.
- I watched enough David Attenborough presentations to know that biodiversity is decreasing as a result of human activity and habitat loss. I like biodiversity. Since nearly 50% of human pregnancies are unintended, it seemed logical that a reduction in that number might give other species a better chance at life.
- General urology was rewarding but taking care of sick people has no environmental or societal benefits. Preventing unintended pregnancies through vasectomy is good for the patient, his wife, his children, society (in the case of couples who are already on other entitlement programs), and the environment.
- General urology was fraught with frustrations: many patients were non-compliant, many failed to bring their meds to the office and could not remember dosage schedules, many failed to see that we obtained lab and X-ray results, and many failed to provide their old records.
- Most medical doctors are torn between keeping health care costs down and practicing defensive medicine. Unnecessary tests and diagnostic procedures gave me an uneasy feeling.
- The schedule was not predictable. As a solo practitioner, I could be called for a consult at any time, and there were always emergencies to manage. In a large group, this would not have been a problem.
- When I started to travel to different parts of the State to perform vasectomies under Title X for increasing numbers of county health departments, I had to ask for more coverage by my colleagues than I could repay. One cannot be more than 30 minutes from the hospital without arranging coverage. So, if I had any urology inpatients, I needed coverage.
I am not sure of the relative contributions of each of these reasons. I would like to think that I was trying to “save the world”, but perhaps I saw vasectomy as a simpler and more predictable lifestyle.