Gil Rushton Jr., MD, is the Chief of Urology at Children’s National Hospital, and has practiced at Children’s National for more than 30 years. Originally from Greenville, SC, Dr. Rushton’s medical and surgical areas of expertise include: vesicoureteral reflux and urinary tract infections, perinatal hydronephrosis, undescended testes, and reconstruction of hypospadias and ambiguous genitalia.
“I love working with a fabulous team of people focused on providing state-of-the-art care in a way that’s convenient and efficient for families.”
Dr. Rushton credits the success of the Urology Division at Children’s to the team he oversees and their efforts to make things as easy as possible for patients and families who receive care. The Division of Urology is improving things for families with minimally invasive surgery (MIS) and is currently performing complex robotic, endoscopic, and laparoscopic procedures, which will allow for quicker recovery time for patients. The division has been able to dedicate time to these enhancements because of the growth and specialized expertise in care providers – the team started with two pediatric urologists, and has since grown to a team of eight. In addition to growing the team, Dr. Rushton has made it a priority to groom the next generation of both urologists and pediatric urologists through residency and fellowship partnerships with George Washington Hospital, Georgetown University Hospital, , and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. Rushton makes it a priority to teach the next generations how to cope with the stress of a busy clinical day by helping them strive for the best clinical outcomes. Growth of the clinical team has allowed for the addition of two surgeon-scientists who are performing basic science research in addition to the clinical research already being conducted by the Division of Urology.
“To take a complex problem and come close to reestablishing normal conditions for a child is extremely rewarding.”
Dr. Rushton’s favorite part about working at Children’s National is the “institutional comradery” and shared values of the entire health system. “Everyone has one goal in mind: to take care of children in the best possible way. The privilege of working with an entire system and staff that’s devoted to caring for kids gives me a tremendous sense of pride.” Dr. Rushton believes that an important part of caring for kids includes speaking and talking to the child, as well as the parents, especially when you first introduce yourself. “Being a good listener and hearing their story is important in making them feel comfortable, and helps inform my care decisions.”
Dr. Rushton’s team is currently working on a number of research projects including imaging for children born with congenital kidney blockages, process improvements for testicular torsion, and a prospective project focusing on boys born with bladder obstruction secondary to a posterior urethral valve. The team is exploring the optimization of a multidisciplinary evaluation of these children, including enhanced imaging including 3D ultrasound technology, functional assessment with videourodynamics of the bladder, and metabolic treatment and management in conjunction with the Division of Nephrology.
When asked about the legacy he’d like to leave, Dr. Rushton said “I’d like to leave behind a world-class division of pediatric urologists that encompass state-of-the-art compassionate care, an outstanding training program for residents and fellows, and an academic research program that advances the field of pediatric urology.”
“Stronger is the sum of the parts of the Division of Urology: doctors, nurse practitioners, residents, fellows, and patient care representatives.”