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Albany Medical College Program - Mark D. White, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Our residency offers the opportunity to experience both academic and community urology practice. Our residents do well with respect to exposure to all of the subspecialties within urology as well as general urology. We emphasize continuity of care and give all level residents ample opportunity for OR and clinic-based experience. We encourage academic pursuits with research and the didactic portion of our program. Our residents leave the program with a solid foundation to enter private practice or pursue advanced fellowship training. The case logs show solid performance with many cases above the 75th to 90th percentile for case experience.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Our program is looking for solid academic performance, an inquisitive nature, and a good work ethic. We promote teamwork in the residency program and give residents ample opportunity to work in a supportive environment.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    The important parts of the application are the personal statement, Dean's letter, and summary of extracurricular activities. We look for information that distinguishes the applicant from the other prospective resident applicants. All applicants are usually academically qualified to complete a residency training program. We are looking for applicants that fit our style of training.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    For prospective applicants, we expect them to be honest. The applicant should be realistic in applying to programs and not send blanket applications to a large number of programs. We hope that prospective applicants talk with urologists in the community and on the medical school faculty to help define their expectations for a residency program. The key to a successful application is strong performance, desire for continued learning, and the ability to participate in the team.


Boston University Program - Robert Oates, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The breath, scope and volume of surgical cases along with a collegial and supportive environment.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Evidence of scholarship, a team player, and compassion.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    The entire application of each applicant is reviewed, no one part is more important than another.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Be yourself on the interviews.


Case Western Reserve University / University Hospitals of Cleveland Program - Edward Cherullo, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Diversity of experience in both clinical and research training is one of the greatest strengths of the residency program at Case Western Reserve University. The program has been tailored to maximize training in both surgical urology and translational urologic research with residents spending eight months in General Surgery, more than four years in urology, and one year dedicated to urologic research. Once in urology, residents gain experience in all subspecialties, including urologic oncology, pediatric urology, female/reconstructive urology, neurourology, infertility, endourology, and minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy & robotic-assisted laparoscopy). Furthermore, residents train in a variety of hospital settings and work with diverse patient populations. Rotations occur across a number of different hospital settings, including University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Louis Stokes Cleveland V.A. Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center (county hospital with Level I trauma), and the Southwest Urology Group (private practice). It is this breadth of experience that contributes to the high success rate of our graduates in securing first-choice competitive fellowships in desired subspecialties, top academic appointments, and the best long-term career positions in the private practice arena. The program is also dedicated to resident education. In addition to structured weekly didactic and teaching sessions, there is also integration of education with other departments, such as Transplant Medicine, General Surgery (particularly Colorectal Surgery), and Nephrology. The different rotation sites also have rotation specific educational activities. The residency program offers a robust clinical, translational, and basic science research program. All research residents are provided with a year-long research curriculum, including tailored instruction on epidemiology, statistics, medical decision-making, grant preparation, and manuscript writing. Opportunities for basic science and translational research are available at three fully funded laboratories, including those of Dr. Firouz Daneshgari, Dr. Adonis Hijaz, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Clinical research with our faculty is also abundantly available. A full-time clinical research team has been developed to provide support for clinical research activities. The residents in our program are well-represented at regional and national conferences for their work.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for intelligent, hard working, team players who are interested in contributing to and benefiting from our growing program. As we offer a diversity of training experiences, we look for residents who are strong in their abilities to be adaptable, independent, reliable, and efficient. It has been a tradition for our faculty and residents to work well together in a collegial environment. Many of the residents from Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Clinic are friends inside and outside the hospital, with monthly dinner gatherings and frequent informal get-togethers. Therefore, we value applicants who demonstrate the capacity to work well and communicate effectively with others both professionally and socially. Intelligence and a critical/analytical approach to problem-solving Someone who demonstrates an inquisitive nature and is a hard worker
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    We consider all aspects of the application process important. Letters of recommendation from faculty who know the applicant well and a strong academic record in all areas of medical school (USMLE scores, core curriculum, and clinical clerkship grades) are critical. The interview process is intended to ensure that applicants are a good fit for the program as much as the program is a good fit for them.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Urology is a fantastic surgical subspecialty that continues to be competitive. Speak with other medical students who have recently matched in urology to help guide you through the career decision-making and application processes. Do a sub-internship at your home institution, and find a faculty mentor to help provide support and guidance. Consider doing an away rotation to diversify your exposure to the field of urology. You can also strengthen your curriculum vitae by participating in a project that demonstrates your interest in urologic research. Do not limit yourself. All accredited urology residency programs offer excellent training. Choose the program that is the best fit for you. This may mean choosing a program based on location, curriculum, or even “the right feel”. An unhappy resident will do poorly anywhere, while a happy resident will flourish regardless of the training program


Duke University Program - Andrew Peterson, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Duke Urology's mission is to train urologic surgeons to become leaders and role models in their communities. While at Duke, you will work with excellent, well regarded faculty that are considered to be the premier urologists in the world at a state-of-the-art medical center that is consistently ranked in the top 10 of all programs in the United States. Duke offers the full range of urologic subspecialties, excellent clinical and surgical volume with an incredible exposure to a wide breadth of clinical urology and operative experience. Since the Duke University medical center is located on the university campus you will have the opportunity to conduct cutting edge urologic research in basic science, clinical research, and health services outcomes. This allows the opportunity to do collaborative and translational research with other world renowned academicians from multiple backgrounds and specialties. This broad clinical experience, research opportunity and educational experience are all delivered in a respectful and professional environment that promotes personal growth and success. In the words of one of our graduates “I would choose to train in our program again because it provides a well-rounded experience with high surgical volume, great research exposure, and world-class faculty. The training program prepares residents for a rewarding career in either private practice or academics and provides a stepping stone for fellowship in every major sub specialty in Urology. Durham affords residents an outstanding quality of life and the program actively encourages a healthy work-life balance”.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for hard working, conscientious, bright, inquisitive, energetic young doctors who are self-motivated to push the frontiers of their profession. We seek people who will mesh well with our cohesive group of residents. These are people who have the following individual qualities: 1. The passion, drive and ability to achieve excellence in urologic surgery 2. The ability to charismatically lead and function as part of a medical team 3. Those who possess the highest moral character and are able to work in a team oriented environment. Those who possess personal integrity, good work ethic, academic skills, , and social and interpersonal skills.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Because we are interested in a well-rounded, academically strong, inquisitive and self-motivated resident it is difficult to place a hierarchy on individual attributes. While research experience is a plus, it is not mandatory. While we do have a minimum for board scores, after that it is the overall package we are looking at in the applicant. Those with extensive research experience with publications are desired. However, having achieved excellence in prior academic as well as extracurricular pursuits indicates a well-rounded applicant that is motivated, hard-working, and enthusiastic. We do find that the letters of recommendations are extremely helpful and important in differentiating good applicants from the great. The individual's performance on clinical rotations during medical school and preclinical courses are the best indicators of success during residency. In addition to this we find the following very valuable in evaluating applicants: 1. A stellar performance on a 4-week acting intern rotation (if applicable) 2. Strong letters of recommendation from reliable sources 3. Grades/evaluations from 3rd and 4th year clinical rotations 4. Board scores 5. Research experience and other degrees, e.g. MS, MPH, JD, etc. 6. Other...
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    The following are quotes from our faculty on what they find important in applicants: “Have some research and volunteer experience. Do well on the boards and in school. Apply widely. Before the interview – do your homework. Know a little bit about the program and the faculty. Ask intelligent questions. Show an interest in the interview. Nothing makes me more interested in applicant than them showing passion. That is what we want – people who are passionate.” “First, do well in medical school because we are seeking bright young people who are self-motivated. Secondly, perform at a high level on your clinical urology rotations and prove to your mentors that you will be a great resident. Thirdly, demonstrate a strong interest in urology by involving yourself in research or seek interesting extramural opportunities.” “Demonstrate tenacity and enthusiasm by strong performance on clinical rotations. Express openness to research and fellowship training.” “Spend as much time with urologists as you can, be proactive and find ways to get involved in clinic, the OR, and in the lab. Identify a faculty mentor as early as possible during medical school training. Discuss strategies that have made other candidates successful. Have a strategy for obtaining high-quality letters of recommendation. I'm sure every medical school has something like this, but this is a resource that I found extremely helpful: http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/edumedia/edufiles/medical_school/student_support_svcs/match-sw-style-2012.pdf” “Do well on your boards. Establish a relationship at their home institution to obtain outstanding letters of recommendation. Try and do some sort of research in urology while in medical school.”


Eastern Virginia Medical School Program - Don Lynch, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The EVMS Urology program combines a diverse operative experience with excellent clinical and academic training. Among the three main teaching hospitals (Sentara Hospitals Southside, Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, and the US Naval Hospital) we have 21 faculty, 16 of whom are fellowship trained. The faculty is strongly committed to top level resident training, academics, and clinical research. We have two strong fellowship programs - in reconstructive urology and laparoendoscopic surgery - which we feel enhance resident training. Our residents have consistently scored well on the ABU examinations and our graduates have excelled in both the academic and private practice realms. Those interested in fellowship training have secured excellent fellowships and those interested in private practice have been highly sought after by first quality practices. Our residents are treated with respect and seem happy to be here, and that's important to us. Additionally, Tidewater Virginia is a great place to live.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Character, integrity, industry, collegiality, idealism, intellect, maturity, thoughtfulness, compassion, enthusiasm, and consideration for others.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Recommendations from other urologists known to us, particularly your school's urology chairman or program director. Academic performance. USMLE scores. Diversity of interests and outside achievements - Eagle Scout, missionary work, community service, military experience. A well-written, concise, thoughtful, and cogent personal statement. Research experience is a plus, but not essential, as are publications.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    * Find a mentor. Be certain urology is what you want and that our program is the kind of training environment you are seeking. Be both candid and thoughtful in your personal statement. Get meaningful and substantive recommendations from urologists. Study hard and do well on your courses and on your USMLE exams.
    * Treat your fellow applicants with respect, and be respectful of the programs with which you interview. Remember that you represent your institution as well as yourself.
    * Try to do an outside urology rotation if you have an interest in a particular institution's program. If this isn't possible, a short clinical experience of a week or two may be helpful. That will also give you another urology chairman or program director who can provide some meaningful observations about you to other programs.


Emory University Program - Chad W.M. Ritenour, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    When you combine an active faculty with an outstanding location, an excellent program results. I think we have that combination at Emory. With five residency-associated hospitals, including a large county hospital and VA hospital, the variety of surgical cases and pathology is outstanding. Exposure to phenomenal clinical and basic science research is possible. Resident education is a priority. Most importantly, the potential for the individual and the program is limitless.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for residents who will take excellent care of our patients and who will act as good representatives of our department. We are seeking individuals with dynamic personalities who will question and examine new areas of urology. Moreover, we are looking to train people who are excited about their choice of urology and their future career.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    I read a candidate's entire application and then make an overall decision regarding academic strength and personality. I think each component has some weight in the choice to interview an applicant. Letters of recommendation are important because they give the most insight into how others perceive the applicant. Honestly, at most programs, I believe board scores, as they are the only objective standard, carry the most initial weight. Personal statements rarely help or hurt a candidate's potential.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Several things are important. First and foremost, look for a place where you could be happy for five or six years. Secondly, look for a program where things (e.g. research, resident development, surgery) are actively being developed and improved; historically good programs need to continue to be progressive. Last, find a program that will help you get to your next career step, whatever that may be. Good luck.


Harvard University Bringham and Women's Hospital (Longwood Area) Program - Jerome P. Richie, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * Diversity of urologic experience and subsequent ability to pursue any aspect of a career in urology after graduation from the program (including urologic oncology, pediatric urology, female urology, neurourology, infertility, erectile dysfunction, endourology, stone disease, laparoscopy & robotic-assisted laparoscopy, basic science research, and general urology)
    * Extremely high operative volume (consistently >90% nationally), with maximal resident involvement and independence (only 1 clinical fellow, at Children's Hospital)
    * Rotations at 5 hospitals, with focuses that include major academic (Brigham & Women's Hospital; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center), pediatric (Boston Children's Hospital), veterans (Boston & West Roxbury V.A. Medical Centers), and private (Faulkner Hospital)
    * Approximately 40 attendings with a wide variety of academic and research interests
    o Specialists in urologic oncology, pediatric urology, female urology, endourology, laparoscopy/robotics, erectile dysfunction, infertility, and neurourology
    o Recent additions of 2 fellowship-trained laparoscopic/robotic adult specialists with 3 DaVinci robots among our institutions
    o Significant exposure to largest pediatric urology department in the country
    o Current attendings from our institutions in part responsible for 8 chapters in the 8th Edition of Campbell's Urology
    * Structured weekly didactic and participatory teaching sessions for all residents in addition to hospital-specific programs for those rotating at each institution
    * Access to numerous Harvard Medical School academic resources, as well as 4-month PGY-3 research rotation
    * Opportunity to experience living in Boston and working with diverse, well-rounded resident team
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    * Well-rounded background
    * Personable nature with capacity to work well and communicate effectively with other residents, attendings, and hospital staff
    * Intelligence and a critical/analytical approach to new challenges
    * Motivation and genuine enthusiasm for the field of urology
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    All parts are important; any portion may be a strength or weakness for a given applicant.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    * Gain exposure to programs outside of your home institution and/or region to achieve some perspective prior to applying or formulating your rank list.
    * Strengthen your C.V. by demonstrating academic aptitude and participating in activities/projects that show an active interest in urology.
    * Consider programs that provide a breadth of exposure to various aspects of urology (research interests, technology, institutional styles, attending techniques, specialties and general urology, academic and private practice interests, etc.) so that you can make an educated career choice with as many options as possible in the field.
    * Choose a program that is the best fit for you personally. Do not choose exclusively because of a name or reputation, or you may find yourself dissatisfied with your choice down the road.


Harvard University Massachusetts General Hospital Program - W. Scott McDougal, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * Volume and variety of cases. * All aspects of urologic surgery performed in volume.
    * Faculty.
    * Didactic teaching program.
    * Dedicated research time.
    * Mentorship.
    * Junior faculty position to complete training.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Hard working individual who will make a contribution.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    * Letters from individuals I know.
    * Medical school record.
    * Personal interview.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Be sure Urology is for you.


Henry Ford Hospital Program- Jack S. Elder, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The Henry Ford Hospital urology training program offers a comprehensive training experience in all aspects of urology, with 14 full-time members of the Henry Ford Medical Group and 5 Ph.D.s. Virtually all of the faculty have a specific subspecialty focus. The majority of our graduates have elected to pursue fellowship training. The program allows an individual to choose a career either in academic urology or private practice. Our residents receive a wide breadth of clinical exposure, including the Henry Ford Hospital, Veterans Administration Hospital, Children's Hospital of Michigan, and will begin rotating at the new Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in northwest Detroit. Although our program has a reputation for focusing on computer-assisted laparoscopic surgery with the daVinci robot, only 25% of our cases are performed with this technology. The institution recently opened a $5,000,000 simulation center to facilitate training in all aspects of endoscopic, laparoscopic, and computer-assisted urologic procedures.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for highly-motivated, well rounded individuals with eye-hand coordination who want to be leaders in the urological community and advance the specialty. We also place a premium on demonstrable communication skills with peers, patients, and mentors.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    The most important parts of the initial part of the application include the medical school transcript, letters of recommendation from academic urologists, USMLE step 1 and step 2 scores, as well as extra-curricular activities. A strong record in the clinical rotations is beneficial. Following the initial screening process, the interview is invaluable in identifying the candidates who would function best in our training environment.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Urology residencies are very competitive. Consequently, favorable grades are important, and most successful applicants rank in the top 1/3 of their class. If you attend a medical school in which the basic science years are pass-fail, then step 1 board scores carry a lot of weight. If your step 1 score is marginal, then establishing a superior record in your clinical grades and an exceptional step 2 score is paramount. It is beneficial to rotate at other institutions to have an opportunity to observe the variety of residency experiences. It is also worthwhile completing a research project (clinical or basic science) in a urological topic. Finally, understand that urology is a small specialty. Most program directors look carefully at letters of recommendation from other academic urologists.


Indiana University Program - Michael O. Koch, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    We have one of the highest surgical volumes for major cancer and reconstructive cases in the nation. We also have one of the largest pediatric experiences in the country with 5 full time pediatric urologists on staff.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for intelligent hard working students that can get along well with our faculty and co-residents.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Letters of recommendation from trusted colleagues. Grades on surgery, medicine and urology.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Urology is highly competitive and each year 30-35% of applying students do not match. If you are persistent, you can usually find a position eventually, but if you are not as competitive, you should consider what your contingency plan will be. Work hard on your clinical rotations. You need to distinguish yourself on your surgical and urology rotations.


Johns Hopkins University Program - Ronald Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * Extraordinary breadth of urologic practice ranging from oncology, endourology, pediatrics, infertility, reconstruction, erectile dysfunction, neurophysiology, stones, female urology, and basic sciences.
    * A large faculty with a wide variety of excellent mentors, with established history of innovation and leadership.
    * Outstanding research opportunities, with labs specializing in cancer genetics, cancer biology, proteomics, role of nutrition in cancer pathobiology, experimental therapeutics, gene therapy, erectile physiology, bladder cancer progression and metastasis, radiobiology of urologic cancers, and engineering applications to urologic practice.
    * Multidisciplinary teams. Faculty includes urologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, engineers, physicists, epidemiologists and immunologists.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Academic performance, productivity, self-initiative, commitment to excellence, strong interpersonal skills (e.g., ability to work well with others) and a genuine commitment to an academic career.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Ranking of applicants is a complex process which involves the integration of academic performance, written essay, letters of recommendation and personal interviews. The ranking process is not performed until ALL of the components have been completed and applicants are then ranked as a group. No one component carries the same weight for every applicant.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Relax and be yourself. Open and honest discussion allows both you and the programs you are evaluating to most easily determine whether or not there is a "good fit". The matching process should not be looked at as a competition, but rather as an attempt to best place individuals into the programs which best fit their mutual needs.


Kaiser Permanente Southern California (Los Angeles) Program - Gary Chien, MD, Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Relatively relaxed environment with a wide breath of clinical material and research opportunities and bright approachable attendings.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Enthusiastic, motivated, smart, and hard-working individuals.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Great letters of recommendation and USMLE scores. Research and extracurricular activities also help with the application.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Work hard on your "audition" elective rotation(s), do well on the boards. Show interest in research.


Lenox Hill Hospital Program - John A. Fracchia, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Only one resident a year, a great collegial atmosphere, camaraderie and a very good overall general urology training experience.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Enthusiasm!
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Board scores and medical school grades followed by publications and lastly by letters of recommendation.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    It's a great specialty, rewarding professionally and personally.


Loma Linda University Program - Herbert C. Ruckle, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The Loma Linda University urology program provides a diverse training experience utilizing Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, Jerry Pettis VA Hospital, and two nearby county facilities. Our faculty members are dedicated to providing a learning environment based on the highest quality patient care and advancing urologic research.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We look for motivated individuals passionate about the field of urology who will be our colleagues and ambassadors of our program after completing their training.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    All parts of the application are considered. The interviews and past performance are emphasized.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Understand that urology has become very competitive. Make a realistic assessment of your competitiveness and formulate a winning plan. This is a great field!


Louisiana State University - Shreveport Program - Dennis Venable, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    LSU Health Sciences Center - Shreveport offers fully accredited residency training, which is provided in a friendly, supportive environment.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Well-balanced foundation in medicine and dedication toward pursuing Urology as a career.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Academic standing (GPA, Class rank), and national board scores represent an initial, objective evaluation guide - supplemented by resume, letters of recommendation and personal statement/personal interview.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Take clinical elective(s) to reinforce initial interest and communicate with students in the class above you to gain their additional insight into the specialty and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the various programs at which they may have rotated. I would encourage the students to visit informally with the urology faculty at their schools to discuss their relative competitiveness for residency training, and ways they might increase their changes of a successful match (e.g., getting involved in clinical or basic science projects early on in medical school and perhaps considering applying for an American Foundation for Urologic Disease (AFUD) Medical Student Summer Grant).


Medical College of Georgia - Martha K. Terris, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The Section of Urology at the Medical College of Georgia offers a fully accredited postgraduate residency training program designed to prepare selected physicians to evaluate, understand, and manage medical and surgical aspects of genitourinary disorders. In addition to providing a rigorous clinical training program, the Urology Section strives to create an atmosphere of scientific curiosity and endeavor. Residents complete the program with solid clinical skills and academic strength to start a successful clinical practice or a competitive fellowship.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    As with all programs, a student's performance on Part 1 of the National Board of Medical Examiners licensing examination, quality of their medical school, medical school classroom performance, letters of recommendation, and any research productivity are factors determining who will be offered an interview. At the interview, interpersonal skills, attitude, and compatibility with our team are evaluated.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    There is no single component that is most important. Strength in one area may compensate for another area that is less strong.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    * First and second year medical students considering urology as a specialty should identify members of the urology faculty at their medical school who are willing to review their curriculum vitae and offer specific advise regarding enhancing their application. Generally, if the student's schedule allows, participation in a research project will improve the chances of matching with a program high on their list. The more in-depth the research, the more the application is enhanced. Research does not necessarily have to be in the field of urology to boost one's application. If the student is unsure of having adequate time to complete a project, however, she should not obligate herself. Failing to follow-through on the research commitment will reflect more poorly on the applicant than the lack of any research experience.
    * Medical students interested in urology should participate in a urology rotation at their home institution late in their junior year or early in their senior year. Students should strive to perform their best during this rotation. Once becoming familiar with the faculty, prospective urology residents should solicit letters of recommendation from the urology leadership at their medical school. Participating in a urology rotation at an institution other than the student's home institution may be beneficial if it is a program at which the student is particularly interested completing residency training. A visiting student rotation can also give students the chance to impress the urology faculty at another institution if their clinical skills outweigh their academic record or who attend a medical school of lesser reputation. Other elective clinical rotations to consider during medical school include general surgery, renal transplantation, pediatric surgery, nephrology, neurology, gynecology, radiology, pathology, and anesthesia.
    To arrange an elective rotation with the MCG Section of Urology or another MCG specialty, contact the Curriculum Office at (706) 722-4805 or check their website at www.mcg.edu/SOM/coffice. For non-MCG students the URL is www.mcg.edu/SOM/coffice/OtherStudents/electives.htm.


New York Medical College / Westchester Medical Center Program - John Phillips, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    1. Fellowship level training in robotics, endourology, pediatrics, and oncology. 2. Encourages autonomy and early independence 3. Committed to ensuring a smooth transition to academics or private practice 4. Open, supportive working and research environment 5. Location supports living either in Manhattan or in suburbs in area known for great schools
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    1. Critical, motivated mind 2. Interested in learning technical skills but strong commitment to bedside care 3. ‘Holistic’ approach to c.v.: not just test scores, but self-drive accomplishments, research/Pubs, and service
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    While boards are helpful, letters from close mentors, publications, and the interview help paint the canvas
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    1. Do well on the boards. 2. Identify a mentor early in medical school to develop a research project in any field, not just urology, that can be… 3. Published before you apply 4. Demonstrate consistent efforts of academic high quality in numerous specialities in addition to urology (i.e. learn from others) 5. At the interviews, read about the faculty and their publications. a. Be excited to ask about their work. b. Show enthusiasm and a pleasant personality that one would want to include in a 5 to 6 year program. c. Admit ignorance and willingness to learn. d. Focus the conversation just once onto something you feel passionate about. e. Don’t let there be a pause in the interview…if the interviewer is tired and is searching for a question, say something like ‘May I ask if that is Patrick Walsh in that picture….” Etc. They are bound to be tired at some point and would be grateful to speak about something non-urologic. f. Don’t hold back on talking about armchair stuff, i.e. sports, culture, history, literature, but avoid politics!


Northeastern Ohio Universities / Akron General Medical Center Program - Phillip Nasrallah, MD, Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The NEOUCOM residency utilizes one pediatric and two adult hospitals that have long been invested in medical education. All three offer state-of-the-art technology including laparoscopy and robotics, as well as an extensive range of surgical experience in oncology, endourology, infertility, female urology, pediatrics, and general urology. The faculty is comprised of 14 board-certified urologists, many fellowship-trained. The environment is conducive to an excellent educational experience. Although our mission is to prepare our graduates to enter general urologic practice upon completion of the 5-year program, our graduates desiring extra training have been very successful in obtaining fellowships.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Urology is a very competitive specialty and a solid academic record is a given. We are looking for a student who will, as a resident, bring positive energy to the team (enthusiasm,reliability, interpersonal skills, and an intense work ethic).
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Strong performance on the USMLE 1 and 2 examinations are very important for consideration. The letters from urology faculty at institutions where the student did a rotation are extremely important. These letters must reflect the positive energy described above. Finally, the applicant's personal statement is very valuable. It should reflect an attitude of service, unselfishness, and community involvement.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    There are several traits that would indicate that a student has the potential to be an excellent resident. Come early and stay late. Know the patients assigned to you and study about their disease processes. Roll up your sleeves and show the resident staff that you can work right along side them and keep up with their pace. Manual dexterity should be practiced at home and not learned in the operating room.


Ohio State University Program - Robert Bahnson, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    We have a robust educational platform and an extremely busy clinical service. At the completion of training you will feel confident in your competence.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    A strong work ethic and an insatiable inquisitiveness.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    The applicants personal interaction with residents and faculty. We welcome and encourage those who wish to have an elective rotation.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Seek the advice of senior faculty in urology at your medical school and ask the younger residents in the program about their application/interview experiences.


Oregon Health & Science University Program - John M. Barry, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    There are no fellows to dilute the experience of the urology residents. Two years of general surgery are followed by four years of urology. The exposure in urology covers all subspecialty areas in urology, including renal transplantation. There are eight geographic full-time faculty members. University Hospital, Children's Hospital, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center are connected to one another with sky-bridges. There is only one off-campus rotation in urology, and that is a six-month exposure to a managed care system in which 2/3 of the urologists were trained at our institution. The two closest civilian urology residency training programs are 3 ½ and 13 hours away, by automobile, respectively. There are three ski resorts within 90 minutes of University Hospital, and the largest night ski area in the United States is one hour away. There is a salmon run through the middle of the city every Spring. World-class wind surfing is ninety minutes to the east and the Oregon coast is ninety minutes to the west of Portland.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Intelligence, academic achievement, ability to overcome obstacles along life's path, hand-eye coordination, interpersonal skills, appearance, volunteer work, publications, and trustworthiness.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Academic achievement, hand-eye coordination, and trustworthiness.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Meet the requirements outlined in item 2. If you are not in the top 1/3 of your class, it is unlikely that you will be invited to interview.


Southern Illinois University Program - Tobias Steen Köhler, MD, MPH, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    SIU Urology’s mission is to be the best urology training program in the country. The goals and values of the next generation’s urologists differ from previous generations and this is occurring in a situation of greater regulatory oversite. Our program has focused on maximizing learning while at work to easily meet ACGME duty hour restrictions. Our program was recently accredited for the maximum 5 year cycle (through 06/2015) with zero citations and two commendations. Our residents are happy, averaging 62 hours a week in a truly collegial work environment. Case volume is excellent with graduating chief’s operative volume from the last 3 years averaging 82% for adult urology, 77% for pediatric urology, and 83% for total cases. Operative experience is split between two successful, private hospitals in close proximity (1 mile) with staff coverage for all urologic sub-specialties. Seven of our 10 residents scored > 90th percentile rank on last year’s urology in-service examination. Our residents average 1-2 pub-med cited publications per year. We have equal numbers of graduates go on to private practice and highly competitive fellowships. Our program’s success stems from several factors. The staff and residents are quite close, and we encourage even our youngest residents to question staff on why they do things the way that they do. Our academic schedule is extremely rigorous, with every Wednesday including mandatory participation of urology staff and residents (including surgery year GU interns) from 8 am until 12:30 pm. SIU is a national leader in surgical education which involves frequent use of surgical skills labs and simulation. The financial success of our two hospitals allows for generous support for these facilities, as well as 2 Davinci systems (one dual counsel robot), and competitive resident salaries and benefits (loupes, books, meeting travel funding etc.) even in tight financial times. Perhaps most importantly, all attending staff that join SIU come with the understanding that resident education rivals patient care in level of importance. Springfield, Illinois is a great place to live, especially for families, with an extremely low cost of living that affords most residents the ability to own their own homes.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    SIU Urology highly values well rounded, amiable, and industrious individuals that have evidence of outstanding professionalism.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    We feel very fortunate to have the current group of residents we have. A focus on professionalism and how well we feel someone would fit into our program after interview carries the most weight. Personal statement, letters of recommendation, completed research projects, board scores, clerkship grades, and extracurricular activities are all considered in granting interviews.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Urology continues to be extremely competitive, so an applicant and her/his advisor must have realistic expectations. Most institutions utilize board score and clerkship grade cut points to help narrow the field. It is essential to excel in other areas if these are suspect. The number of interviews one is granted is a strong predictor of matching. While on the interview trail, take careful notes that day, programs will blend together. Although you will likely get great training from the majority of residency programs, get a sense of resident and staff happiness at that institution – could you picture yourself there? Pay attention to how much time you have to speak privately with the residents. Most urology programs allow their residents and ancillary staff to have veto power. Ask for real data to support program’s claims of high case volume etc. Good luck!


Stanford University Program - Linda Shortliffe, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    - Research opportunity helps allow decision making about academic medicine and interests - Depth of subspecialty coverage - Patient and institutional diversity - Size of program - Location
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    - Critical mind and interest in academic questions in both clinical and basic urology - Motivation to achieve excellence in area(s) - Organization and ability to discuss topics - Emotional intelligence
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Past performance
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Perform realistic self-assessment of your interest in urology and your level of competitiveness with others who may be applying and then apply to a range of institutions.


State University of New York Downstate (Brooklyn) Program - Richard J. Macchia, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * Our residents are very confident in their surgical abilities when they complete their training.
    * Our residents operate, not just watch.
    * Our residents are chiefs for 2 of the 4 year training period.
    * As of July 1, our U4 residents will rotate for 4 months each as Acing fellows at MSKCC.
    * We have a collegial department and the interaction between residents and faculty is friendly.
    * We have a superb record of obtaining the most prestigious fellowships in the world for our residents. We have former residents on the faculties of many medical schools across the country.
    * Those who do not go into academics are highly sought after for employment.
    * We have a great track record for our residents passing the Board examinations.
    * Pending full approval we will be changing the structure of our program to one pre urology general surgery year rather than the current 2 required years.
    * I take a personal interest in the welfare of my residents.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Each faculty member on the selection committee has his own criteria.. This maximizes the possibility that an applicant which be especially attractive to at least one. I think this is a superior system to one where the criteria are standardized. I personally look for a student who will contribute to the program, leave it a better program than when he/she arrived and will contribute to the reputation after graduation. I place great value on demonstrated mental and physical energy and enthusiasm. One also needs to be a team player and not be disruptive to the other residents.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Again, each selection team member has his own priorities. I look at the whole package. A weakness in one area can be compensated for in another.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Take as many electives as you can. Select places where you might wish to do your residency and where you have a realistic chance of matching. Learn as much about each program as possible to assist in selecting electives.. Don't just say what you're going to do it. Work hard; study, don't just read; show up early, leave late; volunteer for every job; go to the literature, not just textbooks. Don't be obnoxious or arrogant no matter how good you are on paper.


State University of New York Upstate (Syracuse) Program - Gennady Bratslavsky, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    We are an outstanding residency program, well balanced in the urological subspecialties, teaching oriented, stable learning environment.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Talent, enthusiasm, promise...
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Board scores of 220+ will get most applicants in the door for an interview. The interview is the most important factor. Students who rotate with us and do well have an edge.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Decide early. Get a urology advisor, plan your application strategy. Do rotations at sites you would really like to consider highly.


Temple University Program - Jack Mydlo, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The Temple Urology Residency offers an extremely diverse residency experience through its multiple campuses with the ability to rotate at four clinically busy, comprehensive hospitals with an all-encompassing educational experience. Briefly: Our University Hospital has a recently expanded advanced robotic surgery program, an extensive history of both major penetrating and blunt genitourinary trauma, and a tremendously high case volume. The Temple residency program is the only residency that rotates through the Fox Chase Cancer Center, the only NCI-Desinated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region. As such, this experience provides residents with an opportunity to learn comprehensive urologic oncology from 6 oncologists trained in minimally invasive and open techniques. Our community urologic exposure at Abington Memorial Hospital involves an intensive operative experience in general urology, working with nine urologists with various fellowship training, including: male infertility, female urology/reconstruction, urologic oncology, and laparoscopy/endourology skill sets. An opportunity to work closely with 4 staff pediatric urologists treating patients from a large referral base in multiple clinical settings. Designated Research time built into the residency which can include working with PhD’s in a laboratory setting and/or with clinical faculty who are invested in the diverse and expanding field of urologic research. Our affiliation with the Fox Chase Center provides limitless opportunities in oncologic research. Temple has proven time and again its strength as a urologic training ground: Recently approved by the ACGME for the maximum allowed 5-year accreditation Our residents routinely graduate with cases in most all categories well above the 80th percentile. Granted program expansion by the ACGME to now accept three residents per year Temple offers an ideal location to live and train as Philadelphia is a major metropolitan area with top great places to live and relax, venues for both national sporting events and music shows, museums and theatre productions, highly renowned restaurants, large outdoor parks and close drives to the beach, mountains, skiing, New York City and Washington D.C.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for bright individuals who are ready to make the transition to residency and whose work ethic will drive them to work hard for the 5 years they will dedicate to training. Additionally, we are interested in candidates that are lifelong learners that will strive to enrich the field of urology after the completion of residency – be it from the office of a private practice or through an academic career. Most importantly, we are looking for a person who fits into the Temple family and who takes the utmost pride in caring for patients, who actively participates in his/her education, who interacts well with fellow residents and faculty, and who will be happy spending their time training in our program.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    The overall gestalt of the application is more important than any one part. Certainly, academics play a very important role as documented in medical student performance in class/clerkship grades and USMLE board scores. Clinical clerkship grades from the 3rd and 4th year, especially those from surgical or urologic rotations can give a window into how a student will perform under stressful clinical duties as a resident. Letters of recommendation from fellow urologists also greatly help illuminate a potential candidate’s strengths. Research or urologic experience speaks very highly of a desire to seek out opportunities and a knowledge that the field “is for you.” Ultimately, the application will be the gateway to an interview offer. The interview itself is a time where strengths in the application can be highlighted by the candidate. If you have made it to our interview, you (along with all the candidates) are qualified to become a urologist. Thus, the interview provides candidates an opportunity to see if Temple is the right learning environment for you. Also, it allows us time to see if you would fit in with the Temple team.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Get started early: When you know you are interested, be proactive. Seek out urologists, residents and mentors to guide you and help you achieve your goals. Build your application: shadowing, away rotations, research, etc. Use your application when it comes time to interview: highlight what sets you apart without portraying yourself as someone who might not fit in. Spend time where you may want to end up: if you like a program, try to do an away or “audition” rotation there and really work hard to impress. Consider it a month-long interview. If you can afford it, go back for a second look after interviews and spend a day with the residents and attending staff; again, consider it a day-long interview. You’ve chosen a great field. Please feel free to get in touch with our residency coordinator below with any questions or if you are interested in coming to Temple to rotate with us: darylynn.lindo@tuhs.temple.edu


Tripler Army Medical Center Program - LTC Ronald S. Sutherland, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    In one sentence, our urology training program provides the highest quality urological education in an academically rigorous and faculty-supporting environment. As a bonus, residents enjoy living in incredibly beautiful Hawaii.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Medical students interested in our program should demonstrate a high degree of motivation to study urological surgery and be willing to serve in the armed services.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Positive letters of recommendation highlighting the student's knowledge base, clinical performance and personal attributes and qualities.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Students should rotate through our program for at least a week to understand what military urology is like and the various aspects of the training program. It will give the faculty a chance to get to know them as well. Because urology residencies are highly competitive, we generally select from the highest qualified applicants. Applicants are encouraged to publish. An accomplished curriculum vitae is often the discriminator when selecting from equally highly qualified applicants.


Tulane University Program - Raju Thomas, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * All possible urologic technology under one roof: DaVinci Robot, Fully mature Urologic Laparoscopy program since 1991, two in-house Shock wave Lithotripters, State-of -the -art Urodynamics set-up(Life-Tech), Full range of Urologic Prosthetics, Holmium Laser use since 1997,State-of-the-Art Endo laparoscopy Suites(Storz OR-1)and so on.
    * Among first programs to have a Section of Endo-Oncology.
    * Variety of patients(Private University Hospital, a VA Hospital, a Public State Hospital and a dedicated Children's hospital).
    * Dedicated sub-specialized faculty.
    * Endo-Laparoscopic skills lab.
    * On site Vivarium,cadaver labs.
    * Two full time Ph.Ds to help in Research activities.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    * Good consistent grades during med school.
    * Good scores on Step I & II exams.
    * Research experience.
    * Good meaningful recommendation letters.
    * Positive personal interview.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    We give importance to all of the above.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Spruce up your C.V. to reflect all five categories listed in Question 1. In summary,it is a great time to be in Urology. It is a competitive match. So are all similar sub specialties. But the technology at our disposal, to impact our patient's lives, are phenomenal. Visit our web site.


UC San Diego Program - Joseph D. Schmidt, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The UCSD Urology Residency Training program is a closely-knit program with a nearly 1:1 faculty/resident ratio. Faculty and attending supervision is close and responsibilities for patient care, including operative experience, increase appropriately through the 4 years of the training program.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Not only an individual who has a good fund of knowledge and good use of hands, but someone who can work interdependently with his or her co-residents as well as with the faculty.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Apart from objective examination scores that are some help in triaging applications, the most significant information is that which is included in the letters of recommendation. They are especially significant when coming from practicing urologists and particularly important if those urologists are in academic health centers and well known to my faculty or me.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    As I tell each student that I interview, as well as those interested in urology from our own school, do not think or apply geographically. Look for the best or better programs no matter where they're located or where you feel you would be well treated, well trained, and happy.


UMDNJ-New Jersey (Newark) Program - Hossein Sadeghi-Nejad, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * The UMD New Jersey Medical School Program in Urological Surgery is an ACGME-accredited 5 year program with an excellent track record. The last Residency Review Committee (RRC) visit granted the program a 5-year accreditation (highest possible). Dr. Marc Jordan is the new Chairman of the Division of Urology and will start his tenure in the summer of 2003. Significant additional resources have been allocated to the urology program in the past year and these are certain to further strengthen the residency training. The following is a list of some of the reasons a prospective candidate may apply to our program:
    o A well-balanced educational experience with exposure to a major trauma center, one of the largest VA facilities in the East Coast, a national/internationally recognized pediatric urology program and 2 large medical centers (University Hospital; Hackensack University Medical Center) offering a wide variety of urological experiences including robotic/laparoscopic surgery and microsurgery.
    o A superior operative case load (consistently in the upper tertile nationally)
    o Fellowship-trained or nationally recognized specialists in uro-oncology, female urology, transplant & renovascular hypertension, male infertility, erectile dysfunction, laparoscopy-robotics, and pediatric urology.
    o Outstanding post-residency placement in fellowships & private practices. Of the previous 10 chief residents, 5 have entered private practice and 5 have pursued specialty fellowships in laparoscopy, pediatric urology, endourology, renovascular surgery, and reconstructive urology.
    o 100% pass rate in written/oral boards for our graduates in the past 6 years
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Dedication to the field of urology, superior academic performance, integrity, and a genuine interest in our program. Since most of the applicants fulfill these criteria, a "team player" spirit and positive personality traits are additional important considerations.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Given the extremely competitive nature of the urology residency application process, it is the combination of the previously mentioned criteria, rather than one or two specific aspects of the application, that separate the applicants invited for interview from others.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Start early. Be sure to do a clinical rotation in your most desired residency program. Take your Boards VERY seriously and prepare for them. Get to know the residents in at least one or two of your desired programs and work VERY hard during your clinical rotations on their services. You can not only learn from them, they can be a positive influence when it comes to the final rank list.


University of Alabama Medical Center Program - Peter N. Kolettis, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * Broad clinical experience in Urology * Flexibility to enter fellowship or community practice * Approachable fellowship trained faculty with expertise in all subspecialties who are committed to resident education * Talented residents who are “team players” * Diverse experience with rotations at several hospitals * Strong clinical and research institution * Affordable living with reasonable commute to hospital
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    * Strong academic performance * Personal qualities * strong work ethic * integrity * ability to work with other
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    * Academic performance * Letters of recommendation * Personal interview
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    * There is a good reason Urology is so competitive. It is a rewarding and stimulating field. Urologists are among the most satisfied and content people in medicine. No one can be assured of matching. Apply to a large number of programs and go to as many interviews as you can. Be enthusiastic and ask questions.


University of Arizona Program - Craig V. Comiter, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    As one of the only programs in the country to employ only fellowship trained urology attendings (Female Urology, Oncology, Laparoscopy) at the University Medical Center, we offer excellent subspecialty training. We also send our residents to a large private practice group, which teaches a more "general urology" rotation. The Arizona VA Hospital provides the residents with an experience concentrating on continuity of care--you meet the patient, evaluate the patient, schedule the surgery, perform the surgery, and follow-up the patient with attending supervision. We also rotate with fellowship trained pediatric urologists at an outside site, and in Tucson with two fellowship trained infertility specialists.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for applicants with a desire to enter academic medicine, willing to produce during residency, and who show an interest in teaching.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    We take the entire application seriously, and we do not necessarily make any specific scores for grades, boards, personal statement, or extracurricular activities. But clearly, those applicants who demonstrate a desire for academic endeavors enjoy an advantage.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    My advice to applicants hoping to match in Urology is to realize that the field has become quite competitive. Do not limit yourself to too few applications and interviews. Be the shopper--rank the programs in the order you want, rather than figuring who wants you. Enjoy the interviews, learn about the programs, and FEEL FREE TO CALL the attendings or residents for any further questions.


University of Chicago Program - Charles Brendler, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    If I were an applicant, I would choose to train at the University of Chicago because we offer a strong, diversified clinical program coupled with a firm commitment to and established funding for research. Our outstanding faculty and residents work together in a collegial environment to provide the best possible patient care and to advance the field of urology through discovery.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    The University of Chicago urology program seeks to attract bright, enthusiastic, and personable young men and women who are excited about urology and willing to work hard not only clinically but also in helping to make discoveries which will improve patient care.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    The parts of the application which we consider most important in ranking applicants are clinical performance during clerkships, board scores, and academic honors, particularly AOA. Letters of recommendation and the personal statement are also important but less so because it is difficult to make objective comparisons between applicants based on letters and personal statements.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    * I would advise prospective applicants to apply to a broad range of urology programs commensurate with their academic records. I would recommend doing at least one sub-internship at the applicant's own medical school so that the urology faculty there can get to know the applicant well and write meaningful letters of recommendation. I would consider doing a second sub-internship at another institution in which the applicant is very interested.
    * When interviewing, I would talk to the urology residents at each program because they will provide the most accurate information about that program. I would specifically inquire about faculty availability, particularly the chairman, and how much the chairman and other faculty travel. I would also ask about research opportunities and support for resident education.
    * Make your personal statement concise (no longer than one page), and try to emphasize some unique aspect of your life which will catch the interest of the reader. Remember that the reviewer will probably be reading at least 200 of these statements.
    * Finally, in addition to the chairman of urology at your own medical school, obtain letters of recommendation from three other individuals who know you particularly well and can make meaningful comments about your abilities. Do not ask all of the urology faculty at your institution to write letters. The chairman's letter is the one that counts. Consider asking faculty in other medical disciplines who know you well to write your additional letters of recommendation.


University of Florida Program - Philipp Dahm, MD, MHSc, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    UF Urology has a longstanding track record of training outstanding urologists that have assumed leadership positions both in the academic world and community setting. Recently established as a Department, we are building on this tradition of excellence to train highly qualified urologic surgeons. Attractive features of the UF urology residency program include: o High volume surgical experience that includes endourology, open, laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgery o A fully accredited training program that embraces the values of innovation, compassion and discovery o An internationally recognized faculty that is strongly committed to resident training o Strong focus on evidence-based, multidisciplinary patient care o Exceptional research opportunities and mentorship for aspiring academic urologists o Gainesville is ranked number 1 for its high quality of life, including low cost of living, and a small-town feel with big-town features.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    UF Urology is looking for well rounded, self motivated individuals that work well in teams and are committed to providing the best possible care to every single patient. Furthermore, we are particularly interested in mentoring the academic development of individuals who wish to pursue fellowship and faculty positions.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    The UF residency review committee carefully reviews the entire application package of every single applicant. Important components of the application include the personal statement, academic interest, research experience and letters of recommendation. Applicants that best fit these selection criteria are invited for a personal interview. The final ranking incorporates all these dimensions.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    * Take every opportunity to expose yourself to the practice of urology not only at your home institution. * Involve yourself in research, but don’t wait until months before the application deadline to do so. * “Dig in” with the residents by taking responsibility both on the ward and the operating room to make sure that you have a good understanding of what awaits you in residency and that you enjoy what you will be doing for the next five years. * Talk to the current residents of a program to get a sense of what the relationship among the residents and between residents and faculty is like. * Choose a training program that excites you and that has a clear upward trajectory.


University of Iowa Program - James Brown, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Why train at our program? The Iowa Urology Department and essentially all the UI surgical subspecialties as well as the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center are routinely nationally recognized for their excellence. All of the Urologic subspecialties are covered by expert faculty, every one of whom has been fellowship trained, and some with national and international reputations. The program remains one of a select few offering one year of dedicated research, during the PGY3 year. The research residents are protected from taking call and allowed to focus their efforts on selected research projects mentored by either basic science or clinical faculty within or outside of the department. The residents are also allowed to obtain Masters Degrees (MBA and MPH) as well as performing research during the PGY3 year. The goal of our 6-year training program and, in particular, this research year, is to allow our resident physicians to jump-start and better position themselves for an extremely successful academic or private practice career. We believe this allows us to provide an outstanding educational experience for our resident physicians.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    What do we look for in an applicant? We welcome a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, professionalism, and a sense of humor. We are only interested in sincerely honest and friendly applicants who have a demonstrated ability to work well and cooperate with others. Our program currently has and insists on maintaining a harmonious and friendly atmosphere within our department.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Factors in resident applicant ranking: There isn’t one “most important” part. Medical school grades, board scores, letters of recommendation, research and publications, and extracurricular activities and achievements all factor in to our decision. After initial selection, interviews are invaluable in allowing us to get to know a candidate.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Advice for students seeking to match in Urology: Do your best to keep your grades and test scores as high as possible. Get involved in research projects and work to see them through to presentation and publication. Develop extracurricular and, ideally, personal interests that are beneficial to society as a whole. Stay physically and emotionally fit. When planning your interview schedule, leave your top choice schools later on your list so that you gain interview experience and learn what to look for in the various programs.


University of Kentucky Program - Stephen E. Strup, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Our program is well known for the emphasis we place on teaching. Yes, we have robotics, MIS surgery, open surgery, etc. but at UK, teaching residents isn’t an afterthought; it is why we are here. Our faculty take a genuine interest in developing our resident’s skills in all phases of their Urologic education. We also have a high and varied case volume that gives ample opportunity for the residents to master the art of Urology. The UK faculty are a diverse yet cohesive group which helps create a supportive educational environment. Finally, our residents complete their training in Urology and enter fellowships or private practice as skilled and confident Urologic surgeons.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Quality, dedication, and a willingness to learn.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    There are two important parts of the application. First is the personal statement. It is your opportunity to try to enlighten us as to who you are, what makes you tick, etc. The second part is beyond the actual paper application, but is the interview. We interview applicants in small groups in order to have as many faculty as possible interact with the applicants. Urology is a competitive specialty and I have yet to meet a candidate who, on paper, isn’t smart, dedicated to urology, and a world-class humanitarian. As a resident in our program, you become a vital member of the UK team and your personality and character (as well as your accomplishments) will be what make you attractive to us as a resident candidate.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    The first bit of advice is to immerse yourself in the field of Urology as a student. Be active in your school’s Urology program, go to conferences, check out the OR (even if you aren’t on service). This is just one way to make sure that Urology is right for you. To be a successful, motivated resident, you have to really enjoy what you do. The second bit of advice is to be yourself throughout the application and interview process. This helps you land at a program that is right for you. Most programs can see through the applicants who try to create a persona that they think may be attractive to a particular program. All Urology programs teach Urology, but there are many ways to do that and many different environments in which this education can take place. Find the place where you will flourish and you will meet your potential.


University of Louisville Program - Murali K. Ankem, MD Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Program offers a balanced well rounded experience. Our aim is to train residents who will be ready to take challenges of both academic and private practice. Residents are happy and get along with each other and the faculty as well. Louisville is a nice place to live!
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for well rounded, down to earth, hard working and personable medical students who are reasonably smart!
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Personal statement, recommendations and scholarly activity and commitment to urology
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Score high in USMLE, scholarly activity particularly in urology, sub internship / away rotations, write a nice personal statement, do good case presentation at the end of your urology rotations (nice, short, well researched)


University of Michigan Program - Khaled S. Hafez, MD, Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Our program is unique in the following: 1) World class institution, department, and faculty. Resident teaching is an utmost priority to all faculty, and all aspects of urologic sub-specialties are provided by multiple faculty that have national and international recognition in their areas of expertise. 2) As program director, I am fully committed to provide the best possible training, education and career opportunities. It is my personal mission to assure that our program is one of the best, if not the best in the country. 3) The educational structure of the program itself is a key distinguishing feature. Our residents are expected to provide input and voice their opinion in their training. We have exceptional residents and ensure that we provide our residents with the necessary tools to excel.

    Program highlights provided by PD:

    1. Curriculum and Lectures: The basic urology curriculum will span over two years with core topics reviewed yearly in the beginning of the academic year. Four focused review sessions will be provided by the chief residents (PD supervised) prior to the In-Service Exam (ISE).

    2. Rotations: In response to faculty and resident feedback, we are piloting this year, three month block chief rotations on the Oncology/VA services. We hope this will positively impact the resident/faculty experience and patient care. Depending on feedback/outcome we may expand other services/rotations to three month intervals.

    3. Basic Surgical Training:

    A.) Open techniques. Practice sessions started June 2013 for PGY1s. This was very well received by the residents and they requested twice yearly sessions for the first two years if possible.

    B.) Robotic techniques 1.) Faculty will be hosting an introductory practice session at the Simulation Center every July. 2.) To further improve training we are in the process of breaking down commonly performed robotic cases into detailed systematic steps. Faculty/residents can track progress on the specified forms. These forms will be available and I encourage their use to track progress.

    4. Laparoscopic and Endoscopic techniques: Feedback from faculty and residents strongly reflects strength in these areas.

    5. Learning Evaluations:

    A.) Oral Boards: Yearly formal mock oral boards will start Spring/Summer 2014. We are in the process of finalizing the details. We will standardize the exam according to the HO level.

    B.) Written In-Service: Well defined standards have been communicated with all faculty/residents.

2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Our program is a high caliber program and we have high expectations from our residents. There is no question that residency is tough. Our residents work hard, and we continue to inspire them to do better and never settle for mediocrity. We encourage students that are motivated, hardworking, ambitious, ethical and, most importantly, trust-worthy. Scholarly activity and outstanding academic record are desired.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Academic performance, scholarly activity and letters of recommendation are critically analyzed. Performance during M4 rotations are taken into consideration. We solicit feedback from our residents and program coordinator.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Be realistic but always challenge yourself to achieve your dreams. Be organized, enthusiastic, and be yourself. Good performance and possible clinical research at your institution is helpful.


University of New Mexico Program - Anthony Y. Smith, MD, Depratment Chair and Satyan Shah, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Our program offers well balanced training in both open and minimally invasive surgery. We have subspecialists in oncology, robotic/lap, neurourology, pediatrics, infertility, and renal transplant. UNM has recently opened up a brand-new freestanding hospital on the west side of Albuquerque and installed a new daVinci Si there. We actually have 4 robots in our training program, at all the different hospitals our residents rotate at. Our renal transplant experience is a unique feature of our program - we believe it gives our residents comfort with major open surgery that translates into improved open surgical and oncology skill. We have recently hired an additional renal transplant surgeon, an endourologist, and a general urologist and are continuing to expand. As the only university hospital and tertiary care center in the state, we draw from a wide region and therefore, have an impressive clinical experience for the residents. New Mexico is indeed a beautiful location to do training, with ample outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, and cultural activities afforded by our proximity to Santa Fe, one of the premier tourist destinations in the US. Please see a video tour of our program at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJJDguHQTP8
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are of course, looking for evidence of a strong work ethic and excellence in medical school. We are also looking for someone who will be a good "fit"
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    We believe the interview, board scores, and achievement in medical school to be most important.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Do some rotations in urology and start early. Urologists tend to be a well rounded bunch and we are looking for well rounded people so keep that in mind. What it ususally means if you want to do urology is that you have a surgeon's mindset. Urology is extremely competive these days. Go after it but if you don't make it for one reason or another, remember that you will be happy doing surgery of some sort so head that direction.


University of North Carolina Program - Eric Wallen, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The UNC urology residency is a superior place to train to be a urologist. We strive to provide the right balance of supervision and autonomy so that our graduated residents are able to make an immediate impact at a new job in private practice, or, alternatively, to match in the most desirable fellowship programs. Our group has added four new faculty members in the last two years, injecting even more energy into a program that was already successful in its academic output and its collaborative learning culture. In the next two years we also plan to add a fellowship-trained infertility specialist, another pediatric urologist, and another urologic oncologist. Last year, we were excited to obtain approval to enlarge our residency training from two to three residents per year. This is in part a reflection of the increase in the size of the clinical program at UNC, as well as the opportunity to benefit from learning opportunities in Charlotte and Raleigh. UNC Urology went through a smooth leadership transition this year. Dr. Raj Pruthi became Chief of UNC Urology and Dr. Eric Wallen became Program Director. Dr. Culley Carson, Chief of Urology at UNC since 1994, stepped down this year yet remains a central member of the faculty and is busy with his clinical practice, research, and mentoring. Resident education is a high priority at UNC. For example, residents play a vital role in our advanced robotics practice. Residents work at the robotic console early and often in their training, and participate in outcomes research evaluating this technology. As chiefs our residents have the opportunity to perform entire robotic cases at the console. We occasionally have fellows training at our institution, but we ensure that the fellow's role is more like a junior faculty member than a resident, thereby augmenting rather than detracting from the resident experience. The comraderie among residents and between residents and faculty make UNC a unique program. The Chapel Hill area is an outstanding place to live, with abundant cultural and outdoor pursuits. It is also an excellent place for families to live, and is affordable. Most UNC residents own their homes and live within a short commute to the hospital.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for residents with integrity, an excellent intellectual foundation, and who possess a strong work ethic and the ability to function in a dynamic team of caregivers. We expect residents to be leaders in the excellent patient care provided at UNC and its affiliated institutions. Our residents serve as ambassadors of our group locally, regionally, and nationally, and as educators in our medical school.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    I don't think that there is a single component of the application that outweighs the others when we meet to create the rank list. All of the applicants we interview are superior in caliber as manifested by their USMLE scores, grades, research, and awards. What is most challenging for us -- and for applicants -- is to determine if this program is the right fit for you. Ultimately, this drives the rank process. We have been fortunate that the process has been successful in creating a great group of residents.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    First, realize that as long as you have made the right decision to go into the field of urology, there are many excellent places to learn the craft. Second, it is important to recognize that factors such as the setting (urban, suburban) are an important part of your quality of life for several years, so make the location part of your consideration. Third, seek to determine if your personality fits with that of the other residents in a given program. Fourth, look for programs that are modern and innovative in their approach to this dynamic specialty.


University of Pennsylvania Program - Alan J. Wein, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * Outstanding training for a career in Urology in a collegial yet professional environment
    * Extensive exposure to all aspects of Urology
    * Consistently one of the highest volume programs in the country with operative logs of the residents in the top 5-10% annually
    * Exemplary track record of placement in top-tier jobs and fellowships
    * Extraordinary esprit de corps among the residents
    * Strong commitment to resident training
    * Residents given considerable, yet appropriate independence in clinical decision making in and out of the operating room
    * Outside of the hospital, Philadelphia provides a good quality of life in a large, yet affordable metropolitan area including world class restaurants, theatre, arts, and professional sports
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    * Initiative, motivation, and commitment
    * Ability to work well with others
    * Intelligence
    * Good communication skills
    * Organizational skills and ability to function responsibly and independently at a very high level
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    All parts of the application are important however demonstration of academic excellence/achievement and letters of recommendation are given careful attention
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    * Be sure that Urology is the correct career choice for you
    * Visit one or more programs outside of your home institution to provide some perspective when choosing where to rank programs for the Match


University of Pittsburgh Program - Stephen V. Jackman, MD, Program Director and Joel Nelson, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The University of Pittsburgh residency program offers a diverse training experience encompassing every aspect of urology. All urologic subspecialties are covered by 15 expert faculty, 14 of whom are fellowship trained, who promote patient care and resident education foremost. As the only urologic residency program in a large city with 5 university hospitals, including freestanding Children's and Women's hospitals, a Veteran's Hospital, a cancer center, and a busy University hospital, residents have exposure to an outstanding variety of pathology and surgical volume. Basic science and clinical research opportunities are limitless with 8 months of dedicated research time and nine full time urologic basic science laboratories. Residents rotate through 18 months of general surgery, with critical care (200+ ICU beds) and transplant exposure (Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute) that are second to none. Our program is in the midst of a rapid expansion with the addition of several new faculty members and DaVinci robotic systems at the University and Veteran's hospitals over the past five years. A strong experience in major open surgery exists side-by-side with laparoscopic, robotic, endoscopic and microscopic surgery. Most importantly, our graduating residents are well trained to pursue their future careers, with an exemplary track record of placement in the jobs and fellowships of their choice.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for medical students with a proven record of outstanding intellectual achievement, manual dexterity, the ability to work well with colleagues and patients and who show the beginnings of a career of inquiry and contribution to medical science.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    In order to select candidates who best match the criteria in question #2, both the program director and chairman read each application comprehensively. No one issue makes or breaks our decision to interview or rank a student. Factors that are strongly considered include USMLE scores, medical school quality & reputation, letters (especially those from respected faculty at top programs), grades, AOA, research, and evidence of leadership or outstanding life achievements.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    This is an exciting but competitive time to enter the field of urology. Show your interest during medical school by actively participating on service and working on a clinical project with a mentor. During the interview season present yourself honestly and show your true personality. When making your rank list, remember to consider where you felt the most comfortable with both the residents and the city. Choose programs where you will enjoy living and working that will also provide you the resources to achieve your long term career goals.


University of Rochester / Strong Memorial Hospital
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Intense surgical training. High volume of adult and pediatric urology cases, diverse pathology from urban setting with large rural referral base, and wide exposure to endoscopic, minimally invasive, and open surgical techniques. Outstanding robotic training – with 5 robots spread over 3 hospitals, tremendous opportunity to learn and excel at robotic urologic surgery. Graduating residents are well-prepared for entry either into further academic training or immediate professional practice. Resident autonomy and camaraderie. The resident team has strong faculty support but tremendous independence when it comes to call schedules, conferences, educational calendars, etc. There is a strong sense of team mentality and accountability. This leads to a fair amount of flexibility when managing resident issues like attending national conferences, job/fellowship interviews, family and/or health emergencies. By the time a resident has reached chief year, she or he will have mastered the strong leadership skills necessary to succeed in most health care and hospital settings.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Energy and motivation. Initiative and enthusiasm. Professionalism and intelligence. Strong communication and organizational skills.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Academic excellence, letters of recommendation, and prior experience in some sort of research.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Because the urology match is both a competitive match and an early match, it does require significant energy and commitment on the part of the candidate. Make sure to seek out urology residents at your own medical school for advice on a career in urology and do a couple of electives (at your home program as well as one outside institution). It goes without saying that your USMLE scores and your academic record will be under intense scrutiny. Seek out letters of recommendation from faculty who have worked with you and can write honestly and positively about that experience. Research is a big plus—even if it’s just an abstract that you submitted to a national conference. Not only does it show initiative and energy, but during the interview, it is often an opportunity to show your passion for our specialty.


University of Tennessee (Knoxville) Program - Frederick A. Klein, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Our residency is designed as a mentorship program. Each resident is on service with a specific attending and more or less spends the month with that attending, whether in the office or in the operating room. This means that you learn first-hand the clinical/office-based side of Urology from someone who has been doing it for years in addition to operating alongside an experienced surgeon from day one of your urology residency. Further, the mentorship approach enables the PGY-2 to be the lead surgeon in oncologic cases that residents in other programs will not experience until their PGY4 or PGY5 years. To date, 60% of our residents have entered into fellowships while 40% have entered private practice upon completion of their residency. Our case volumes are well-above average. As we only service one primary hospital, call is split evenly among the residents currently at a 1 out of 5 ratio (usually 3-4 weeknight calls and only 1 weekend call per month). Our pediatric hospital is less than a 5 minute drive from the adult hospital and we have a comprehensive pediatric surgical experience including even the most complex exstrophy cases. We alternate between 1 resident per match and 2 residents per match, with 2 residents matching in January 2012. East Tennessee is a great place to live with countless outdoors activities, a large SEC university town with great game day experiences, and a low crime rate.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are a looking for the med student(s) that are self-motivated in all levels of life. Success in the classroom is the first indication of a motivated student and we typically only interview applicants with above average USMLE Step 1 scores. A very strong preference is given to US Graduates from allopathic medical schools. Students that do away rotations with us are also given strong preference. Once the interview rolls around, we look for the students most likely to get along with our residents and faculty. We are a relatively small training program and we pride ourselves in developing friendships among the residents and attendings, often golfing and boating on the weekends when the weather allows.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    In order of importance: Hard Work Ethic, Affability/Personality, Step 1 Scores, Extracurricular activities, Dexterity/Operative skills
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Study as much as possible for Step 1 and Step 2 as this is the only standardized measurement we have to evaluate all applicants on equal grounds and Urology as a specialty is becoming more and more difficult to match into. Broaden your interests and activities to make yourself more attractive to residency programs. Do an away rotation at the program you hope to match with.


University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Program - Joseph W. Basler, MD, PhD Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The UTHSCSA Urology training program has a number of features that graduates have reported, in retrospect, to be major strengths. The clinical volume and breadth of pathology is substantial, allowing the graduate to choose the (1) subspecialty fellowship training program of choice or (2) to move into a clinical practice with an expertise that is on-par or above-par with urologists who are already working in the community. The fact that all subspecialties of Urology are a component of the UTHSCSA program has been a strength on all previous evaluations. For those individuals who are looking to develop a foundation for an academic career, the combination of large clinical trials and translational science studies provides an excellent foundation for the practice of Urology. Finally, a brief chat with the residents and faculty will highlight the teamwork and good spirit of the group.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    The ideal medical student applying to UTHSCSA Urology training program is bright, enthusiastic, shows initiative, enjoys a collegial working relationship with other residents, and has the habit of 'doing a bit more than is expected'.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    While academic achievement is important, we look for students who have shown the initiative to start a research project, develop a new way of doing something, volunteer to improve the lives of others or some other aspect of their character that lets us know that they have the potential for leadership and will be able to advance the field of Urology.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Because it is so competitive and because there are so many excellent candidates interested in Urology, the student who is looking to match in Urology should strongly consider: Working on an elective with a mentor who can provide a strong letter of recommendation and can comment beyond the usual 2-3 week rotation observations. Work on a project and write a paper with a Urology physician at your institution. This shows initiative and helps the student to understand how papers make it into journals. It also sometimes 'breaks the ice' and could lead to a fascinating and rewarding career in academic medicine. Do an outside rotation in Urology especially at an institution that you may want to consider for your training. Guidance for this is usually available through the local Urology program coordinator. The rotation will give the student a better idea of the breadth of Urology and may cement interest in the specialty. If the student works hard, is helpful and enthusiastic, the rotation could potentially provide an additional strong letter of recommendation.


University of Washington (Seattle) Program - Byron Joyner, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The urology program at the University of Washington is a unique training program. It is one of the largest University departments for urology training in the country with 5 hospitals and 35 faculty who have interests that cover every subspecialty within urology, including oncology, pediatric urology, trauma, infertility, female and reconstructive urology, neuro-urology (one of 2 in the country) and transplantation. Residents rotate through the University Hospital, a free- standing Children's Hospital, a level I trauma center, a VA Hospital and a hospital-based private practice group. There are da Vinci robots at 3 of the hospitals. Our residents are richly supplied with excellent clinical and operative experiences that far-exceed the national average. We continue to have a full year of dedicated research, and, during this time, residents may take advantage of a global rotation with International Volunteers in Urology (IVU) for cultural experiences in third-world medicine. Our educational program is carefully designed to be comprehensive, preparing all residents for the potential of lifelong learning. Our standard is to exceed that which is required by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The residents have a formal curriculum that is outlined at the beginning of each academic year. There are faculty-precepted chapter review sessions, lecture series on various ACGME requirements (Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Professionalism, Medical Knowledge and Patient Care), a robust, individualized mentoring program(Problem-Based Learning and Improvement) and requisite quality assurance projects (Systems-Based Practice), as well as a host of hospital-specific teaching conferences. Finally, there is a mutual respect that is pervasive in our department whichmakes for a very pleasant professional working environment.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Medical students who apply to our program should be interested in the three pillars of graduate medical education: patient care, teaching, and research. The student should be dedicated to hard work as a team member in a consortium of five very busy urban hospitals. We look for students who are academically competitive, demonstrate leadership qualities, and have an inquiring mind.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    The application, although a very superficial representation of the person, is necessary. Ranking applicants for interview from the applicant pool is a difficult process which our program takes very seriously. There is no one important factor in the application that guarantees an interview and much less a position in the program. The applicant’s “package” is important. This stated, letters of recommendation, personal statements and USMLE scores give a tremendous amount of information about applicants. Given that our department is very research-oriented, we are interested in applicants who demonstrate an interest in research and aspiration to become leaders in the field of urology.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Medical students hoping to match in Urology should know that Urology is first and foremost a surgical field. If surgery, or the idea of spending a lot of time in the operating room, is not of interest to you, do not apply to Urology. It is important to seek out a mentor in Urology, a person who will inform you of the bad days as well as the good days. We have a healthy mentorship program at UW. Interested medical students should not only investigate the field of Urology but be able to document their interest. We are looking for eager and curious individuals who are excited to be a part of this great field.


Vanderbilt University Program - Joseph A. Smith, MD, Department Chair
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The urology residency at Vanderbilt University combines an intense clinical and operative experience with a comprehensive educational program designed to prepare the resident for a career of lifelong achievement and contributions in urologic surgery. Our residents have an almost unparalleled volume of operative cases but our curriculum is also carefully designed to provide extensive experience in the outpatient setting. Our hospital mix is almost ideal with a large university hospital, a freestanding pediatric hospital, an adjoining Veterans' Affairs hospital, a nearby city hospital, and a rotation at a busy private hospital. Our greatest source of pride, though, is the general camaraderie and cooperation which exists among residents and faculty.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Virtually all applicants to urology residencies are highly qualified based upon their academic accomplishments and Board scores. From this group, we strive to select individuals who are highly motivated and dedicated to making substantial contributions to the field of urologic surgery during their career. Although we are supportive of our residents who pursue private practice, we are seeking individuals most likely to pursue fellowships and academic urology. We want residents who are self-motivated and will fit in with an atmosphere of high expectations without sacrificing personal quality of life.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    We select for interview only applicants who are highly ranked in their medical school class and who have performed well on Boards. Nonetheless, these are not the most important criteria in selecting applicants. We strongly consider letters of recommendation but rely heavily upon our perception after interviews. Our interview process is designed to allow maximum exposure and contact between the applicants and our own residents and faculty. Applicants interested in Vanderbilt should consider performing a senior elective with us although this is far from essential.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Applicants should prepare their applications and personal statements carefully and in a timely fashion and seek meaningful letters of recommendation. During the interview process, the applicant should simply present himself or herself in a relaxed and open manner. We attempt to provide as much honest information about our program as possible and applicants should do the same. This will allow applicants to match at the program best suited for themselves.


Virginia Commonwealth University / Medical College of Virginia Program
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Environment: The environment for training is exceptional at VCU and in the Richmond community in general. The training includes rotations at our main university hospital, our Veterans Affairs Hospital, and a private practice rotation with a large urology group in town. Through these diverse experiences, the residents really get a comprehensive exposure to all levels of urology and see a wide range of clinical and operative cases. We have also made the surgical internship a much more worthwhile and rewarding experience in that pre-urology residents are given a dedicated month in radiology and pathology as well as six months of dedicated urology training. In the VCU program, we realize that there is far more benefit to rotating in these areas then doing long hours of non-operative floor work for other surgical services. Finally, the program offers a dedicated 6-month research rotation. This allows residents to gain exposure to basic science work and the majority have commented that the experience has been highly rewarding. It also allows residents to “change gears” and focus on their long-term career and family plans. Finally, the Richmond lifestyle is ideal for residents. I trained in New York City where I lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment and accumulated a significant amount of credit card debt. In Richmond, residents can choose to own a home in the nearby suburbs or rent an apartment in the busy downtown district which offers a thriving social scene. The location is great in that I’m a 45 minute flight back to New York or an hour and 45 min drive to D.C. In summary, Richmond is ideally located and convenient for people from both the North and the South. Collegial Atmosphere: Here at VCU, we are dedicated to resident training and have a residents-first attitude. In the OR, residents are expected to perform the majority of ALL cases. Our six full-time faculty are all 50 years old or younger and understand the importance of this type of training. The faculty are approachable and really take extra time to individualize training for each resident’s particular needs. We like to consider the residents and faculty as part of one cohesive family unit. We all get along easily and generally, although training may at times be long and difficult, most of the residents really enjoy their work and their training.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Here at VCU, we are generally looking for “team players” who are motivated, energetic and are looking forward to growth and positive change. We are a young faculty and are constantly striving toward continued improvement. We want our residents to be part of this growth and change and encourage their participation. We want them to be efficient enough to enjoy their outside lives as much as their work. We want them to be bright enough to be competitive with residents in any training program in the country.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    All of our applicants are expected to meet certain minimum criteria in terms of grades, class rank, and board scores. However, once applicants make it to an interview, we generally feel that they should all get an equal shot. Higher ranks are given to those individuals who demonstrate the qualities that we consider most important: being a team player, being motivated, and being happy and well-adjusted in the Richmond community
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Good Luck! You’ve chosen a fantastic field, and if you make it, you are going to have an enjoyable and rewarding career. Keep in touch with people you meet on the interview “trail” as they can provide valuable information about other programs and places. Keep your file active by sending in updates as they come in (abstract acceptances, new board scores, nomination/acceptance into AOA, etc). Make sure that you’ve read up about the program and show your interest. If we think you not interested in us, we are probably not going to be very interested in you. RELAX and enjoy the chance to see a lot of new and interesting places.


West Virginia University Program - Stanley Zaslau, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The urology program at West Virginia University can be considered to be a 'Mighty Might.' We are the only ACGME accredited urology residency that services the state of West Virginia. When one considers both the population of West Virginia and the surrounding regions of Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, our program is the resource for approximately 2.75 million people. Thus, the diversity and breadth of cases here is outstanding. This exposure to urologic disease coupled with an extensive reaching program makes this program, in our opinion "a jewel."
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for motivated, hardworking and sincere individuals who want to be well trained urologists. While demonstration of academic success is important (USMLE scores and class rank), we are also particularly interested in training residents share the same passion for urology as we do.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    The most important criterion to rank an applicant is how well they will fit into our program. While this is certainly hard to do during the interview process, we encourage applicants interested in our program to spend a rotation with us. While a month elective is preferable, we would be happy to have applicants rotate for as little as one week with us as their schedule permits. In addition to getting to know our applicants personally, we pay close attention to the following, in order of importance: (1) Letters of recommendation, (2) Class rank, (3) Clinical rotation performance, (4) USMLE scores, (5) CV and personal statement.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Our best advice is to plan for your interest as early as possible in your medical school experience. For example, we encourage our first year students to do a lab research project with us (which is a paid position). We encourage our second year students to attend our conference and shadow us in clinic. We suggest that third year students do a rotation with us and get involved with a research project. We encourage fourth year students to do all of the above as fast as they can before the match day comes around.


William Beaumont Hospital Program - Jay Hollander, MD, Residency Program Director
1. If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * Applicants should consider the William Beaumont Hospital urology program because of:
    o Its incredible volume and balanced variety of cases all done in one hospital that is consistently in the top 5 in terms of hospital admissions surgical procedures in the country.
    o The presence of more than one fellow trained attending urologist in many of the urologic subspecialties that would provide several options in managing patients. There are 4 pediatric urologists, 4 female urology/urodynamics, 4 urologic oncologists, 3 infertility/andrology, 6 endourologic/laparoscopic/robotic surgeons from among 29 attending urologists on staff.
    o A close knit group of smart, happy, hard working residents who are family oriented.
    o An extremely supportive and progressive hospital located in one of the most desired suburban communities in southeastern Michigan where the per capita income is one of the highest in the country.
2. What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    * The Beaumont Urology residency program is looking for a successful medical student who is:
    o In the upper 1/3 of their class.
    o Has a diversified life experiences.
    o Highly recommended especially by urologic surgeons.
    o Has the personality to blend easily with our resident and attending staff.
3. What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    * The transcript and the National Board exam result.
    * Letters of recommendation.
    * Extra curricular activities including research experience, volunteer work, travels, etc.
    * Content of the personal essay.
    * "Intangibles" from the personal interview.
4. What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    * The preparation should start by excelling in your courses, rotations, and the National Board Examination as this is the first level of screening in our program.
    * Ask a urologist or two who you feel will write the strongest letter of recommendation for you.
    * If invited for an interview, respond quickly so you can get a better choice of date and time that is convenient for your schedule.
    * At the interview, be yourself.