Phillip Dean, MD, is a surgeon site lead for the DEBUT study at Valley Medical Center. As a practicing colorectal surgeon for 25 years, he has watched how recommendations for when to have elective surgery for diverticulitis seemed to swing back and forth without a lot of good data.
“I tried to keep track and give patients the best information I could, but up to this point there hasn’t been a lot of good information as to when to have the surgery,” he says.
Dr. Dean first heard about the study through the SCOAP diverticulitis group and became involved as a participating physician after Valley became a study site. As a surgeon site lead, he recruits patients, answers their questions, and participates in the study as needed.
“The DEBUT study is addressing a question we don’t have an answer to: When should patients have surgery for diverticulitis on an elective basis?” he says.
Dr. Dean believes it’s important to be involved in the study in order to get more active recruitment from patients in the community.
“Part of the problem with studies in the past is they tended to involve a narrow perspective of the patient population. Reaching out to community hospitals around the state and expanding our pool of patients will give us a broader perspective on the disease process and management,” he says. “DEBUT has a much broader patient involvement than diverticulitis studies in the past. It’s important for me to be involved so we can get our patients involved.”