University of Chicago Program - Charles Brendler, MD, Department Chair

Attach to Residency Program: 
University of Chicago
Survey Respondent: 
Charles Brendler, MD, Department Chair
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.
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.
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.
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.