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Dear Dr Leslie,

Thank you very much for volunteering on this site!

I have a few simple questions for you:  

Is it true that apple cider vinegar is good for preventing kidney stones?  

Also, what is the role of the Risk Manager in a hospital?   Who would normally be the next person in line above the Risk Manager?  What sort of experience and/or training should a Risk Manager have?  What role do they play in preventing unintended surgical outcomes?

Thank you very much!


Pablo Durissimo


No, it is NOT TRUE that apple cider or any other vinegar is helpful in preventing kidney stones.  It is unclear to me where this bit of fiction came from, but it is definitely unscientific. Vinegar is actually made of acetic acid.  Ingesting acid requires the body to neutralize the acid which reduces the urinary excretion of antacid called citrate.  Citrate is an important inhibitor of kidney stone formation and we frequently give potassium citrate as a kidney stone preventive agent, so drinking any type of vinegar would be counter-productive and is not recommended.

A risk manager in a hospital is someone who's job is to manage the hospital's risks primarily from a legal perspective.  A CEO or hospital legal counsel would technically be over the risk manager.  A risk manager would tend to have a legal background as it usually involves legal issues.  Their role in unintended surgical outcomes is peripheral as far as what could be reasonably predicted prior to such an event, but they are not usually experts in surgery.  This is a little out of my particular specialty so you may want to ask someone in hospital administration.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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