University of Pittsburgh

Urology during General Surgery: 2mo. Research Time: 8mo during PGY4. Fellowships: Endo, Onc, Peds. Other Unique Program Aspects: VA is one of 6 or 7 in the country to have a robot. Terri Peitz Phone: 412.692.4091 E-mail:

State Code: 
Faculty Survey Results: 

University of Pittsburgh Program - Stephen V. Jackman, MD, Program Director and Joel Nelson, MD, Department Chair

Attach to Residency Program: 
University of Pittsburgh
Survey Respondent: 
Stephen V. Jackman, MD, Program Director and Joel Nelson, MD, Department Chair
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.
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.
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.
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.


A nice program that has really been on the rise in the past 10 years with Dr. Nelson at the helm. They are big on basic science as far as other urology residencies. They have a great variety of experience in the OR and plenty of faulty to teach. There is a good mix of old and young that gives the program a solid foundation. They are really trying to become a top academic program and therefore would “prefer” to see their residents go on to fellowships and universities. And if that is what you are looking for in a career it is a great place to train. They city is one that certain people love it while others are not big fans, either you are or your not.

A program that has really made a alot of progress over the last 10 years, mostly due to the Chair Dr. Nelson. He is a no-bull kind of guy and you get the feeling he runs a tight ship with his program. The program has the feel that the stress research, including basic science, and place alot of having an academic career. I think this program is great for those who want to do academics but maybe not for those who don't. Of course like many places they "say" they are okay with you doing either. The location is a minus for some people while I know for others it is a plus. The hospital has a lot of money and rules that region with an iron fist, so the facilities are really nice.

A bit late for the rank lists, but I have one comment. As an upper level resident, I can say without a doubt that Dr. Nelson, et al., will not hold your carear choice against you in any way. In fact, they want more people to go into private practive to even out the numbers.

can you please provide any more information about the program as a resident at pitt for someone who is very interested in the program? 

away sub-i?does anyone know where to find info about doing an away sub-i rotation here? they're not on vsas and i can't find anything on their program website

Fellows - Endourology, Oncology and Pediatrics