Terry Van Wormer, PA-C

As a certified physician assistant, Terry Van Wormer sees patients with issues that fall within the full spectrum of urology.

The PA-C works with Dr. James Reynolds and Dr. Laura Foot, both urologists at Tanner Clinic Layton. With the exception of surgical procedures, his duties cover all aspects of care, including medication management, exams and pre-op preparation. Although he works closely with the urologists, he has his own client base.

Terry completed his physician assistant training at the University of Nebraska College Medical Center and the College of Medicine at UNMC, both in Lincoln, Neb., where he earned a B.S. and M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies.

As a member of the U.S. Air Force, Terry used his medical skills in a variety of Air Force locations, such as the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. There he served as director of the PA-C program, specializing in family medicine and emergency medicine. He was also a family medicine PA at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Hill AFB in Utah. At the time he separated from the Air Force in 2008, after 21 years of service, he was a family practice PA stationed at Luke AFB near Phoenix.

While in the service, Terry was ranked in the top 11 percent of all Air Force clinicians for patient visits conducted without sacrificing quality care. He also received the distinguished Jesse Edwards Physician Assistant of the Year Award while at the Air Force Academy.

A native of Michigan, Terry is married with two children. He likes to golf, ski and spend time outdoors.


Men Should Learn If Their Prostate Is Enlarged, Says Urology PA-C

Men, like women, undergo hormonal changes in their bodies as they get older. Testosterone begins to convert into another hormone, dihydrotestosterone, a change that prompts the prostate gland to grow larger. By the time they’re age 60, about 50 percent of men will begin to develop an enlarged prostate.

(Unfortunately, this hormone is also responsible for male pattern baldness.)

The medical term for an enlarged prostate is benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, said Terry Van Wormer, a certified physician assistant in Tanner Clinic’s urology department.

Genetics is a big player in how much mischief this hormone causes. And, according to research, diet is an important risk factor. For instance, daily meat consumption triples the risk of prostate enlargement.

Terry’s experience confirms that the most significant risk factor is simply advancing age. That’s evidenced in this statistic from the National Institutes of Health: more than 80 percent of men over age 80 have the condition.

As the condition’s name indicates, the prostate enlargement is benign. It’s not cancerous, nor does it increase your risk for prostate cancer, said Terry. However, BPH and cancer have similar symptoms.

BPH symptoms are uncomfortable

Not all men will have symptoms indicating their prostate is expanding. For those who do, the primary symptom is an inability or hesitancy to urinate. Other signs include dribbling at the end of urinating and that feeling that the bladder is still full.

A normal prostate compared with a prostate that has become enlarged. (This graphic uses the label prostatic hypertrophy, which is another name for BPH.) Click on the image to see a larger version. Copyright: rob3000 / 123RF Image

When you know the anatomy of the prostate, it becomes easier to envision why urination is affected. The job of the prostate gland is to produce the whitish fluid that is a major part of semen. The gland wraps completely around the urethra, explains Terry.“As the prostate becomes larger, it starts to pinch the urethra so the urine can’t flow out.”


The basic test to determine if your prostate is enlarged is the digital rectal exam, said Terry. Unfortunately, this isn’t the digital as in the digital age or a digital testing device. Most men are familiar with this test.

Also helpful is the Uroflow test, which determines the flow and force of an individual’s urine production. Restrictions on the ability to urinate could point to an enlarged prostate.

“Some men will think they’re voiding very well, but they’re not as well as they think they are,” said Terry.

In many cases, the symptoms of BPH can be managed with medication, he said.

Terry, like Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Foot, recommends that men over age 40 receive a prostate exam annually. If you have BPH, a regular exam allows providers like Terry to monitor symptoms and determine if you need changes in treatment.





The Answer Parents Hate: Kids Will Just Grow out of Bedwetting

Some patients visit with PA-C Terry VanWormer to discuss that most unpleasant and embarrassing disorder of childhood: Bedwetting.

“Parents are frustrated, their children are frustrated,” said Terry. “They’re getting ready to go to Boy Scout camps or sleepovers, and they can’t until they stop having wetting episodes.”

The physician assistant’s response to parents is, “Most kids, to be honest, grow out of bedwetting.”

Terry has found from his experience that children who bedwet are most often just heavy sleepers. “You could put a bomb next to the bed, blow it up, and the kid wouldn’t wake up,” said Terry. Any signals the bladder is sending to the child’s brain go the way of dreams.

But, he adds, “As kids get older, that connection starts to occur and the bedwetting will just go away on its own.”

There are many treatments that can help, such as limiting fluids and ensuring the child goes to the bathroom before bedtime, or bedwetting alarms that sense wetness and vibrate or buzz to wake the child. There are bedwetting drugs available, but their effectiveness is limited, he said. Plus, most come with undesirable side effects.

— Tanner Clinic staff