University of Iowa Program - James Brown, MD, Residency Program Director

Survey Respondent: 
Bernard Fallon, MD, Residency Program Director
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.
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.
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.
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.