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.