University of Tennessee - Knoxville

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Faculty Survey Results: 

University of Tennessee (Knoxville) Program - Frederick A. Klein, MD, Department Chair

Attach to Residency Program: 
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Survey Respondent: 
Frederick A. Klein, MD, Department Chair
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.
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.
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
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.


As the chief resident here, I can tell you that we are a very great program.  We operate through the mentor system where you follow one attending each month and do all his clinic as well as all his cases.  This means that most of us do a radical cystectomy or robotic case our first month of urology.  Our call is about q4-5 days each month and you work 10-12 weekends a year.  We get plenty of robot experience as well as lap cases.  We do a lot of female urology here as well as get a good peds experience.  I logged 3100 cases in my PGY2-4 years and most urology residents graduate with 2000 total cases so I should be double that by the time I graduate.  Our attendings are like friends here and our program is very non- malignant.  We attend all sectional and national meetings while our attendings stay here and take call for us.  Knoxville is a great small city and very, very safe and cheap.  

We alternate between 2 and 1 spots every other year.  We took 1 in the 2011 match, and therefore will have 2 spots in the 2012 match.  Just getting the word / confusion out early.