Premier Urologist to Join Surgical Medical Mission

At Premier Medical Group, we pride ourselves on providing patients with in-depth and compassionate care along with exceptional customer service and consideration. Our providers are dedicated to improving the lives of our patients throughout the Hudson Valley. Now, our ethos is going global as Dr. Neil J. Kocher, a distinguished fellowship-trained urologist in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPM-RS), prepares for his inaugural medical mission to Belize with the Global Surgical Expedition. We sat down with Dr. Kocher to discuss how he became involved with the Global Surgical Expedition and what the experience will entail.

Dr. Kocher first heard about The Global Surgical Expedition through a former Cleveland Clinic co-fellow who reached out to him directly because the medical mission group was looking for a specialist in urogynecology to join their team. 

As someone who has always had an interest in using his medical training to help those in need, Dr. Kocher was immediately interested in being a part of a team of like-minded individuals whose goal is to bring access to specialized medical treatments to communities around the world.

“I’m excited to have been invited to this group and offered this opportunity, as I feel the skills and conditions that I treat and am able to provide for my patients here are in extreme need globally, and this is one way of being able to serve those areas beyond my local community,” he said.

The other physicians who make up the crew have complementary skills and specialties, such as urologic oncology and general urology. The goal, Dr. Kocher says, is to create a team that can travel and provide urologic care for many years to come.  

“From a personal and professional perspective, it’s really going to be a great fit,” Dr. Kocher said. “It’ll be the first year but I intend to begin doing this for the foreseeable future.”

The expedition will include providers from across the United States. 

“I’m the only one locally from the Mid-Hudson region that’ll be partaking in this,” Dr. Kocher said. “It’s really cool to represent this area and contribute to a global cause.”

The trip will last nine days, starting with a couple of days dedicated to traveling and setting up equipment. Then, the team will have several days of intensive clinical and surgical work. After that, they will spend a day packing up and checking inventory before taking a day to enjoy the local culture and community before heading home.

It’ll be a jam-packed schedule, but Dr. Kocher says he’s excited for the experience and is confident in the team’s preparations for the potential challenges of operating in a foreign country. 

“A lot of the things that I do surgically, don’t require specific expensive equipment that’s hard to find,” he said. “We can perform these operations in the same capacity, whether at a state-of-the-art, large, academic, world-renowned center or in a community hospital in an underserved area.”

To minimize aftercare visits and potential postoperative complications, the physicians will work to use each patient’s own tissue rather than introducing devices like mesh and slings, which are more common in the United States. 

Dr. Kocher says he’s looking forward to helping both the local providers and patients seeking care to approach resolving urological conditions like stress urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and vesicovaginal fistula with a new level of confidence and understanding.

“These conditions affect communities globally,” Dr. Kocher emphasizes. “Our goal is to offer surgical interventions and empower local providers to continue addressing these issues long-term.”

Dr. Kocher hopes his involvement in the expedition will positively impact patient care in his local community too. 

“I hope it helps to reframe the perception of these conditions as common but treatable,” he said. “Patients here can see that excellent care can be provided even with limited resources.”

Dr. Kocher says he’s already had an outpouring of support from his patients and from Premier Medical Group as he prepares for the trip.

“The support and interest from Premier and the community have been overwhelming,” he said. 

If you wish to learn more about the Global Surgical Expedition or donate to its cause, please visit Premier Medical Group is proud to support Dr. Kocher on this mission and will provide regular updates on his experience.

If you are experiencing any of the conditions discussed above, please contact Premier Urology at 845.437.5000 to make an appointment at any of our four convenient locations (Poughkeepsie, Kingston, New Windsor, Fishkill).