After first entertaining the idea of a career in opera, Joseph Frenkel, MD, eventually decided to pursue medicine.
“In the end, I wanted to expand my curiosity about my personal health and spend my days helping others in a meaningful way,” he shares.
Today, Dr. Frenkel is a board-certified colorectal surgeon who practices at Bon Secours Surgical Specialists in Hampton Roads, VA. He specializes in minimally invasive colorectal surgery, colon resections, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hemorrhoids and rectal cancer management.
“’What drew you to colorectal surgery?’ is a question I frequently get asked by my patients who don’t understand the attraction to the specialty,” he says. “I say that I always loved learning about the gastrointestinal tract and its physiology.”
Throughout his training, Dr. Frenkel has met many other colorectal surgeons who also have a wonderful sense of humor about what they do.
“We really have to, it can get a little dirty!” he jokes.
As a colorectal surgeon, Dr. Frenkel’s work varies day to day, from in-office procedures and colonoscopies, to both small and major surgical procedures.
“Surgery is my true love. I enjoy handling simple procedures like hemorrhoidectomy. Even more rewarding though is performing major colon resections for cancer while employing technically advanced platforms like robotics,” he says.
And as for those initial thoughts of a singing career, Dr. Frenkel has no doubt he made the right choice going into the medical field.
“Working in medicine is a gift that I fought hard to receive. I think most doctors feel this way, which is why we have the ability to work tirelessly on our patients’ behalf,” he shares.
“Patients are our motivation, and when they look you in the eye and tell you their story, you can’t help be completely committed to helping,” he adds. “It gives me so much joy to see a patient back in the office after surgery when they have recovered, and to learn that surgery has helped them in a meaningful way. Any appreciation they share with me after their treatment is just the icing on the cake.”
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Learn more about this disease that kills nearly 50,000 people every year in the United States alone.
Has a Bon Secours provider made a difference in your life? Help us celebrate Doctors’ Day, coming up on March 30, by sending your provider a message of thanks.