Dr. Samuel Ohlander is committed to building a trusting relationship with his patients by providing honest, compassionate, and collaborative care. He is board certified in Urology and specializes in male infertility, fertility preservation, low testosterone, vasectomies, and microsurgical vasectomy reversals. He earned his medical degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine where he also completed his residency in surgery and urology. He then completed a fellowship in male reproductive medicine and surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.
In addition to seeing patients, Dr. Ohlander is a contributor to the University of Illinois medical school curriculum, education, and counseling. He has been published on the medical management of male infertility in Campbell’s Urology, Infertility in the Male, the most significant urologic and male reproductive medicine textbooks.
Dr. Ohlander understands that male infertility is a sensitive issue for many patients. He strives to provide a comfortable and open environment so that his patients feel empowered as they take steps to grow their families.
What do you like most about what you do?
Everything. I am very fortunate to love my job. Reproductive medicine is very personal. Many of the discussions that I have with men are topics that they might not feel comfortable discussing with anyone else, including their partner (but that is important). I love being able to build that relationship where my patient and I can work together to not only treat the physical issue at hand but also address any of the stressors that are nearly always present in reproductive health.
In practice, what are you most proud of?
The relationships that I build with my patients. Having trust in your physician is incredibly important and can take time to establish. Often in reproductive care, treatment timelines are shorter and guys are making their way to me in a narrow window of care, so trust needs to be established early. I think honest assessments and clear explanations on what tests are necessary, and what may not be, play a significant role in establishing this relationship. There is no better feeling than having a patient place their trust in you and then helping them achieve a family.
Why did you choose to work in the field of urology?
I love being a surgeon. I love having a problem that I can directly fix with my hands. At the same time, I love the continuity of patient care that is present in medical management. Urology combines both of those aspects of medicine. Also, urology is always at the forefront of innovation. Whether it is microsurgical techniques, minimally invasive/robotic surgery, or penile prostheses for erectile dysfunction, there is a constant evolution in the field. Urology allows me to constantly evolve as a physician and continually challenges me to be my best.
What do you consider your special areas of interest in reproductive medicine and why?
My subspecialty within urology is andrology, which essentially means male infertility, male sexual health, and male hormonal management. This is a small subspeciality within urology that I did an additional year of training in after my 6 years of urology residency. While I probably enjoy the surgical management of infertility the most (vasectomy reversals, varicocele repairs, even vasectomies), I think I get the most satisfaction out of medically managing a patient and helping them create a family without the need for surgery. I’ve been very fortunate to have written chapters on the medical management of male infertility in the most significant urologic and male reproductive medicine textbooks in the world (Campbell’s Urology, Infertility in the Male).
What is your approach to medicine?
My primary approach is educating. Reproductive medicine is very individualized. I can provide data and explain what current research shows, but not everyone follows the same path, and not every couple fits into the perfect criteria that a particular study was looking at. I want to be able to explain what the patient’s own testing shows, explain to them what it means and what options exist, and then together make a plan that they feel comfortable with. My goal is for the patient to understand what their tests mean and why we’re recommending the tests/treatments that we are.
Share something unique people don't know about you.
I am an associate professor of Urology at the University of Illinois and am heavily involved in the medical school curriculum, education, and counseling. I am the product of the public school system in Illinois (grade school, high school, college, medical school). I am very proud of the education I’ve received and love having the opportunity to now contribute to the education of others. Public speaking may be my greatest fear, but I deal with it many times a year to provide lectures to students and physicians in other fields of medicine.
What do you do for fun in your spare time? What are your hobbies?
My free time is spent with my family. As much as I love my job, spending time with my family is where I am my happiest. I’ve been to just about every park in the city of Chicago and am finding it increasingly more difficult to fit down the slides. I also love sports. I’m a die-hard University of Illinois basketball fan and love all the Chicago sports teams, though I’m a Cubs fan over the White Sox.
Doctor of Medicine: University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine: General Surgery Intern/Resident
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine: Urology Resident
Baylor College of Medicine: Male Reproductive Medicine and Surgery Fellow
University of Illinois at Chicago
900N Michigan Ambulatory Surgery Suite.
University of Illinois at Chicago Surgical Intern of the Year
Society for the Study of Male Reproduction and Urology Traveling Scholar
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine FacultyRising Star