Kevin M. Wymer, M.D.

Fellow, Urology

What moment or experience in your life influenced your decision to be a clinician?

I've always had a strong interest in science and originally wanted to pursue a career in research. I worked in a lab during college that evaluated the long-term impacts of pediatric cancer treatments and was drawn to the field of medicine at that point. In particular, I was excited about opportunities to apply science and research to improving patient care and outcomes.

What motivated you to become a Kern Health Care Delivery Scholar?

I'm excited about the opportunity to work with one of the strongest health services research groups in the country.

With the resources and mentorship available, I can obtain formal training and invaluable input on my interests in cost-comparative modeling and cost-effectiveness analyses. This includes opportunities through the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education and the structured mentoring model available.

Ultimately, my goal is to help lead a urology health services research center and the resources available through the Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars Program will help make that possible.

What is your focus as a scholar within the Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery?

My project focuses on creating a decision analytic model to assess the cost-effectiveness of surgical treatment options for patients with renal stones. My team will then work to develop a decision aid based on the model outcomes. On a larger scale, this will be in line with developing my interests in cost-comparative modeling, quality of life outcomes and patient cost toxicity.

Tell us about your mentoring team.

My primary mentor is Mitchell R. Humphreys, M.D., chair of urology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and a leading expert in kidney stones and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Dr. Humphreys has more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and is part of the Endourology Disease Group For Excellence (EDGE) consortium, an interinstitutional kidney stone research collaboration.

In addition, Aaron M. Potretzke, M.D., is serving as a clinical mentor for the project, providing expertise in advanced stone treatment. Dr. Potretzke is the director of Mayo Clinic's Endourology Fellowship in Arizona and was named Urology Teacher of the Year in 2020.

Also providing research mentorship is Bijan J. Borah, Ph.D., an expert in cost-comparative modeling. Dr. Borah provides expertise in the construction and analysis of the model.

How will your research improve patient care or impact public health?

The cost of health care is becoming an increasingly pressing crisis in the United States. Stone disease represents one of the most common conditions managed by urologists and has significant financial implications, with costs estimated to be approximately $2 billion a year. My team's model and decision aid will help identify the most cost-effective treatment approach for this common condition. Furthermore, such a decision aid could help translate these data to the patient level to help guide clinical decision-making.

Why did you choose Mayo Clinic to pursue your career?

Mayo Clinic is a phenomenal place to train. The resources available are unparalleled and the support both clinically and from a research standpoint are excellent. Mayo Clinic provides the ability to focus on patient care and cutting-edge research, with almost no limits.