Henry Ford Hospital Program- Jack S. Elder, MD, Residency Program Director

Attach to Residency Program: 
Henry Ford Hospital
Survey Respondent: 
Jack S. Elder, MD, Residency Program Director
If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?: 
The Henry Ford Hospital urology training program offers a comprehensive training experience in all aspects of urology, with 14 full-time members of the Henry Ford Medical Group and 5 Ph.D.s. Virtually all of the faculty have a specific subspecialty focus. The majority of our graduates have elected to pursue fellowship training. The program allows an individual to choose a career either in academic urology or private practice. Our residents receive a wide breadth of clinical exposure, including the Henry Ford Hospital, Veterans Administration Hospital, Children's Hospital of Michigan, and will begin rotating at the new Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in northwest Detroit. Although our program has a reputation for focusing on computer-assisted laparoscopic surgery with the daVinci robot, only 25% of our cases are performed with this technology. The institution recently opened a $5,000,000 simulation center to facilitate training in all aspects of endoscopic, laparoscopic, and computer-assisted urologic procedures.
What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?: 
We are looking for highly-motivated, well rounded individuals with eye-hand coordination who want to be leaders in the urological community and advance the specialty. We also place a premium on demonstrable communication skills with peers, patients, and mentors.
What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?: 
The most important parts of the initial part of the application include the medical school transcript, letters of recommendation from academic urologists, USMLE step 1 and step 2 scores, as well as extra-curricular activities. A strong record in the clinical rotations is beneficial. Following the initial screening process, the interview is invaluable in identifying the candidates who would function best in our training environment.
What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?: 
Urology residencies are very competitive. Consequently, favorable grades are important, and most successful applicants rank in the top 1/3 of their class. If you attend a medical school in which the basic science years are pass-fail, then step 1 board scores carry a lot of weight. If your step 1 score is marginal, then establishing a superior record in your clinical grades and an exceptional step 2 score is paramount. It is beneficial to rotate at other institutions to have an opportunity to observe the variety of residency experiences. It is also worthwhile completing a research project (clinical or basic science) in a urological topic. Finally, understand that urology is a small specialty. Most program directors look carefully at letters of recommendation from other academic urologists.