Angelo E. Gousse, M.D.: A Haitian Academic Urologist

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By Shelly-Ann Parkinson + Photo by Mackinley ‘Spex’ Madhere

“Follow your dream. Never be discouraged. Overcome challenges. Remain focused. Make friends and find collaborators. Aim for excellence and dedicate your life to serving others. All the rest will follow.” – Angelo E. Gousse, M.D.

Haitian-born, Dr. Angelo E. Gousse is currently the Director of the Bladder Health and Reconstructive Urology Institute and is one of the few fellowship-trained reconstructive and neuro-urologists in South Florida. He has performed over 1000 complex reconstructive procedures. Dr. Gousse has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to the field of medicine with numerous awards and accolades including the prestigious peer-reviewed, Best Doctors in America Award for the past 15 consecutive years.

Angelo E. Gousse was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti to a family of intellectuals with a father who was a physician and a grandfather who was a Latin and Greek professor. He migrated to the United States after high school to attend college in New York. There, he graduated from The City University of New York’s York College as the valedictorian with a perfect 4.0 GPA after 3 years. He continued to excel at Yale University School of Medicine where he graduated summa cum laude. Dr. Gousse is double board certified by the American Board of Urology and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.

According to Dr. Gousse, “When I moved to Florida, I wanted to be useful to the Haitian community. I felt there was a need for more public education related to health conditions.” It was this desire that motivated him to host his radio show, “Consultation Urologique en Creole.” and his television show, “Urology Health,” for the past 10 years. He also writes bi-weekly articles on urology in the Floridian and co-founded the non-profit organization, Haitian American Leadership Organization (HALO).

Regarding his philanthropic work, Dr. Gousse shares, “currently my main focus is to develop better urologic training and care in Haiti.”  Most of this work is being done through another organization that he has spearheaded along with a group of Haitian and international urologists called the Global Association for the Support of Haitian Urology (GASHU).

Q: Where were you born?

I was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I attended Union School, followed by “Les Freres de L’instruction Chretienne”, and Notre Dame for elementary school. I completed my high school education at Petit Seminaire College Saint-Martial in Port-au-Prince. After I completed Philosophy, I traveled to the United States to study.

Q: Tell us about your family.

My father was a physician, an infectious disease specialist and hospital administrator, and director of the military health care system in Haiti. I grew up in a nuclear family with my mother, father, grandfather (a Latin and Greek professor), grandmother and my siblings. I met my wife when we were both high school students in Haiti. I married Marie May, who is from Cap-Haitien, in the last year of my medical school studies. My wife studied Pharmacy at Texas Southern University while I was completing my Urology residency at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Both of our children were born in Texas. Our son was our firstborn, and years later we had our daughter. Both of our children have graduated from the University of Miami.

Q: When did you move to Florida?

I moved to Florida in 1998, after I completed my fellowship in Neuro-Urology and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). After my fellowship, I was recruited by the University of Miami to develop the Female Urology and Reconstructive Urology Program.

Q: Tell us about your formal training. How long did it take you to train after you graduated from high school in Haiti?

After I graduated from high school in Haiti, I attended the City University of New York (York College). I graduated with a 4.0 perfect GPA in my major (3 years) and was the valedictorian of my class. I received my medical degree summa cum laude (4 years) with the highest honors from the Yale University School of Medicine. I completed my residency (6 years) at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and a postdoctoral fellowship in Urodynamics (University of Miami), female urology and pelvic floor reconstruction at the University of California, Los Angeles (2 years). I am double board-certified, by the American Board of Urology and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. This adds up to 15 years of training after high school.

Q: Tell us a little bit more about your academic career.

I am one of the very few fellowship-trained reconstructive and neuro-urologists in South Florida. I am currently the Director of the Bladder Health and Reconstructive Urology Institute.

I have performed more than 1000 complex reconstructive procedures.

I am the Fellowship Director of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Urology at the Memorial Hospital Miramar. I am a former tenured Professor of Urology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Department of Urology, and Vice-Chairman of the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics Urology service, where I was also the Urology Residency Program Director and Fellowship Director for Female Urology, Urodynamics, and Reconstructive Surgery for more than ten years. I was also the Director of the Urodynamics Laboratory at the Miami VA Medical Center, where I supervised the Neuro-Urologic care of spinal cord injury patients.

Q: Tell us about your greatest academic and professional accomplishments.

I was the first to offer Sacral Nerve Modulation (Interstim, 1998) and intra-detrusor injection of Botox for urinary problems in South Florida in 2000 to benefit patients with various bladder control conditions. My research interests have focused on overactive bladder neuropharmacology, reconstruction of the urinary tract, neurogenic urinary incontinence, as well as functional recovery from spinal cord injury. I have pioneered the optimal dosage of neurotoxins (Botox) to manage bladder dysfunction. My investigator-initiated research projects on Botox chemodernervation in human subjects have led the way to the first FDA urologic indication of Botox in the United States, the neurogenic bladder clinical trial. I have also participated and co-authored in clinical trials which have led to the FDA approval of the first Beta-3 drug to treat overactive bladder, Merebegron (marketed as Myrbetriq). I am currently the chief surgeon investigator (Precision Medical Devices) for a novel artificial urinary sphincter being developed for human usage using Bluetooth technology and a telemetric computerized platform.

I have authored or co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed scientific publications (Pub Med), numerous textbook chapters, journal articles, and scientific abstracts and poster presentations. I serve as an editor of many Urology journals in the United States and abroad.

I currently serve on the Guideline panel of the American Urologic Association. Guidelines dictate the standard of urologic care in the United States.

Q; Tell us about your speaking engagements in the United States and globally.

I have delivered more than 200 scientific presentations globally. I have participated as a guest professor in the United States and abroad on various aspects of reconstructive urology and voiding dysfunction, and I regularly lecture as an expert in the field of urology. I have lectured in Asia, Europe, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean on numerous occasions. I was the keynote speaker at the centennial meeting of the Association Francaise d’Uurologie – AFU in Paris, representing the United States.

I have been a plenary panelist or speaker at the most prestigious American Urologic Association (AUA) yearly meeting on numerous occasions.  In fact, I currently serve on the scientific planning committee of the American Urologic Association Annual Meeting. I was appointed to the board for the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction (SUFU) where I served for 10 years. I was at the Chairperson of the SUFU Residency Committee. I also served on the executive board of the Genito-Urinary Reconstructive Surgeons (GURS) Society 

In addition, I served on the American Urology Association Female Urology Core Curriculum Committee. Working with the Global Philanthropic Committee in Urology (GPC), I am currently the AUA liaison for the Global Association for the support of Haitian Urology (GASHU), which is dedicated to developing the field of Urology in Haiti. I have served as chair and organizer of the internationally well-attended yearly didactic Urology Conference in Haiti.

 Q: Tell us about some of your accolades.

I was listed in “Best Doctors in America” for 13 consecutive years 2005-2018. (Best Doctors in America is the most prestigious peer-reviewed doctors’ award in the US); US News and World Report 2011-2012; America’s Top Urologists by the prestigious Consumer’s Research Council of America 2008; Strathmore’s Who’s Who since 2001, the Miller University of Miami Medical School’s Urology Teacher of the Year Award on numerous occasions; the Pfizer Scholars in Urology Award, the Cullen Research Award from the Scott Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine; and the Dr. Jonas Salk Scholar Award. In addition, I have received community awards, which I cherish very much. I received the “Award of Excellence” from the Association des Médecins Haitians an L’ Etranger (AMHE) on December 15, 2018.

Q: Among all these awards, which one means the most to you?

I must say that I cherish all my awards. However, I would admit that Dr. Jonas Salk Scholar Award is very important to me. This award was given to me by the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Jonas Salk, who discovered the polio vaccine. I was selected for the scholarship because of my First Prize College work on E Coli microbial genetics under the supervision of Dr. Leslie Lewis, my Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Program mentor. The Dr. Jonas Salk Scholarship allowed me to afford my Yale University School of Medicine tuition.

Q: How have you interacted with the Haitian Community?

When I moved to Florida, I wanted to be useful to the Haitian Community. I felt there was a need for more public education related to health conditions. I started hosting a radio show, “Consultation Urologique en Creole”, and a television show, “Urology Health”.  Both shows have been on the air, uninterrupted, for more than 10 years. I addition, a few years ago, I started writing bi-weekly articles in the Floridian. In addition, I co-founded the Haitian American Leadership Organization (HALO).

Q: What exactly was the mission of HALO (www.halohaiti.org) that you co-founded?The mission of HALO is to support and promote the development of future leaders through education, to provide a link between existing community organizations to facilitate networking, provide a platform for thought leaders and experts

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