Dr. Lou: Founder of Potomac Urology, supporter of local care
Dr. Lou's legacy of patient care continues today at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center
Imagine treating thousands of patients during the course of your career. For Dr. Ek Lou, those numbers are a reality! He estimates he saw upwards of 40,000 patients during his time as an Urologist in Prince William County. Even though he retired nearly six years ago, he says he still misses the patients, staff and surgeries associated with the field.
While Dr. Lou devoted his life to urology, he got into the field by accident, “You could say, urology chose me!” he shares during an interview, one recent, fall morning. During residency, young, would-be doctors get exposed to different specialties. Initially, Lou had orthopedics, which he says, wasn’t a great fit. Then, he was introduced to urology, which appealed to his natural curiosity and inquisitive nature, “I can find a solution to whatever problem there is and help people, which made me feel good.”
Dr. Lou started practicing in 1976 and formed Potomac Urology in 1978, “In the beginning, at the time I started practicing, there was a lot of competition. For me to come in without knowing anyone, because urology is a strictly referral service, it was challenging.”
His hard work, tenacity and skill paid off as his practice grew and he relocated to the Potomac Center on campus of what was then, Potomac Hospital. Dr. Lou and his practice were one of the Center’s original tenants. His goal- to serve his patients to the best of his ability, right in the community, “I think our urology standard is as good as everyone else’s and I believe that. I think it holds up for the things I did over the years. I tell all my friends, ‘Why send a patient up north? Let us take care of them right here.’”
After nearly 30 years of independent practice, he added a partner, Dr. Pratik Desai. Dr. Desai was just graduating from his fellowship and looking to join a practice. His uncle, also a doctor, suggested he reach out to Dr. Lou and from there, a relationship was formed. For Dr. Lou, he says it was one of the best decisions of his career, “For the five years I was with him, I had the most fun of all my professional life, because he and I worked together very well,” explains Lou.
It’s a sentiment Dr.Desai shares, “I can tell you, he is, hands down, one of the best things that ever happened to me. By far.”
It was a professional match made in heaven. Dr. Lou says the men learned from each other, despite a 30 year age difference. The respect, is mutual. “Apart from being a great doctor and a great surgeon, he’s just a tremendous human being. He’s a cornerstone of the community. His priority always revolved around his patients, the hospital, and community first, before it was himself,” says Dr. Desai, explaining what makes Dr. Lou so special.
And, even though he’s been retired for six years, Dr. Lou still has a special place in his heart for the practice, calling the doctors there, his guys, “My guys are on the cutting edge. They’re smart. They’re good. And, energetic. I think they’re a very good addition to the hospital. It makes me very proud to be a part of Potomac Urology. That’s my baby. I left it in good hands. I knew they would continue my legacy.