Faculty Survey Results

  • Survey Respondent: Stephen V. Jackman, MD, Program Director and Joel Nelson, MD, Department Chair
    Residency Program: University of Pittsburgh
    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.
  • Survey Respondent: Alan J. Wein, MD, Department Chair
    Residency Program: University of Pennsylvania
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * Outstanding training for a career in Urology in a collegial yet professional environment
    * Extensive exposure to all aspects of Urology
    * Consistently one of the highest volume programs in the country with operative logs of the residents in the top 5-10% annually
    * Exemplary track record of placement in top-tier jobs and fellowships
    * Extraordinary esprit de corps among the residents
    * Strong commitment to resident training
    * Residents given considerable, yet appropriate independence in clinical decision making in and out of the operating room
    * Outside of the hospital, Philadelphia provides a good quality of life in a large, yet affordable metropolitan area including world class restaurants, theatre, arts, and professional sports
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    * Initiative, motivation, and commitment
    * Ability to work well with others
    * Intelligence
    * Good communication skills
    * Organizational skills and ability to function responsibly and independently at a very high level
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    All parts of the application are important however demonstration of academic excellence/achievement and letters of recommendation are given careful attention
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    * Be sure that Urology is the correct career choice for you
    * Visit one or more programs outside of your home institution to provide some perspective when choosing where to rank programs for the Match
  • Survey Respondent: Jack Mydlo, MD, Department Chair
    Residency Program: Temple University
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The Temple Urology Residency offers an extremely diverse residency experience through its multiple campuses with the ability to rotate at four clinically busy, comprehensive hospitals with an all-encompassing educational experience. Briefly: Our University Hospital has a recently expanded advanced robotic surgery program, an extensive history of both major penetrating and blunt genitourinary trauma, and a tremendously high case volume. The Temple residency program is the only residency that rotates through the Fox Chase Cancer Center, the only NCI-Desinated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region. As such, this experience provides residents with an opportunity to learn comprehensive urologic oncology from 6 oncologists trained in minimally invasive and open techniques. Our community urologic exposure at Abington Memorial Hospital involves an intensive operative experience in general urology, working with nine urologists with various fellowship training, including: male infertility, female urology/reconstruction, urologic oncology, and laparoscopy/endourology skill sets. An opportunity to work closely with 4 staff pediatric urologists treating patients from a large referral base in multiple clinical settings. Designated Research time built into the residency which can include working with PhD’s in a laboratory setting and/or with clinical faculty who are invested in the diverse and expanding field of urologic research. Our affiliation with the Fox Chase Center provides limitless opportunities in oncologic research. Temple has proven time and again its strength as a urologic training ground: Recently approved by the ACGME for the maximum allowed 5-year accreditation Our residents routinely graduate with cases in most all categories well above the 80th percentile. Granted program expansion by the ACGME to now accept three residents per year Temple offers an ideal location to live and train as Philadelphia is a major metropolitan area with top great places to live and relax, venues for both national sporting events and music shows, museums and theatre productions, highly renowned restaurants, large outdoor parks and close drives to the beach, mountains, skiing, New York City and Washington D.C.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for bright individuals who are ready to make the transition to residency and whose work ethic will drive them to work hard for the 5 years they will dedicate to training. Additionally, we are interested in candidates that are lifelong learners that will strive to enrich the field of urology after the completion of residency – be it from the office of a private practice or through an academic career. Most importantly, we are looking for a person who fits into the Temple family and who takes the utmost pride in caring for patients, who actively participates in his/her education, who interacts well with fellow residents and faculty, and who will be happy spending their time training in our program.
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    The overall gestalt of the application is more important than any one part. Certainly, academics play a very important role as documented in medical student performance in class/clerkship grades and USMLE board scores. Clinical clerkship grades from the 3rd and 4th year, especially those from surgical or urologic rotations can give a window into how a student will perform under stressful clinical duties as a resident. Letters of recommendation from fellow urologists also greatly help illuminate a potential candidate’s strengths. Research or urologic experience speaks very highly of a desire to seek out opportunities and a knowledge that the field “is for you.” Ultimately, the application will be the gateway to an interview offer. The interview itself is a time where strengths in the application can be highlighted by the candidate. If you have made it to our interview, you (along with all the candidates) are qualified to become a urologist. Thus, the interview provides candidates an opportunity to see if Temple is the right learning environment for you. Also, it allows us time to see if you would fit in with the Temple team.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Get started early: When you know you are interested, be proactive. Seek out urologists, residents and mentors to guide you and help you achieve your goals. Build your application: shadowing, away rotations, research, etc. Use your application when it comes time to interview: highlight what sets you apart without portraying yourself as someone who might not fit in. Spend time where you may want to end up: if you like a program, try to do an away or “audition” rotation there and really work hard to impress. Consider it a month-long interview. If you can afford it, go back for a second look after interviews and spend a day with the residents and attending staff; again, consider it a day-long interview. You’ve chosen a great field. Please feel free to get in touch with our residency coordinator below with any questions or if you are interested in coming to Temple to rotate with us: darylynn.lindo@tuhs.temple.edu
  • Survey Respondent: John M. Barry, MD, Department Chair
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    There are no fellows to dilute the experience of the urology residents. Two years of general surgery are followed by four years of urology. The exposure in urology covers all subspecialty areas in urology, including renal transplantation. There are eight geographic full-time faculty members. University Hospital, Children's Hospital, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center are connected to one another with sky-bridges. There is only one off-campus rotation in urology, and that is a six-month exposure to a managed care system in which 2/3 of the urologists were trained at our institution. The two closest civilian urology residency training programs are 3 ½ and 13 hours away, by automobile, respectively. There are three ski resorts within 90 minutes of University Hospital, and the largest night ski area in the United States is one hour away. There is a salmon run through the middle of the city every Spring. World-class wind surfing is ninety minutes to the east and the Oregon coast is ninety minutes to the west of Portland.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Intelligence, academic achievement, ability to overcome obstacles along life's path, hand-eye coordination, interpersonal skills, appearance, volunteer work, publications, and trustworthiness.
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Academic achievement, hand-eye coordination, and trustworthiness.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Meet the requirements outlined in item 2. If you are not in the top 1/3 of your class, it is unlikely that you will be invited to interview.
  • Survey Respondent: Robert Bahnson, MD, Department Chair
    Residency Program: Ohio State University
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    We have a robust educational platform and an extremely busy clinical service. At the completion of training you will feel confident in your competence.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    A strong work ethic and an insatiable inquisitiveness.
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    The applicants personal interaction with residents and faculty. We welcome and encourage those who wish to have an elective rotation.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Seek the advice of senior faculty in urology at your medical school and ask the younger residents in the program about their application/interview experiences.
  • Survey Respondent: Phillip Nasrallah, MD, Program Director
    Residency Program: Akron General Medical Center
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    The NEOUCOM residency utilizes one pediatric and two adult hospitals that have long been invested in medical education. All three offer state-of-the-art technology including laparoscopy and robotics, as well as an extensive range of surgical experience in oncology, endourology, infertility, female urology, pediatrics, and general urology. The faculty is comprised of 14 board-certified urologists, many fellowship-trained. The environment is conducive to an excellent educational experience. Although our mission is to prepare our graduates to enter general urologic practice upon completion of the 5-year program, our graduates desiring extra training have been very successful in obtaining fellowships.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Urology is a very competitive specialty and a solid academic record is a given. We are looking for a student who will, as a resident, bring positive energy to the team (enthusiasm,reliability, interpersonal skills, and an intense work ethic).
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Strong performance on the USMLE 1 and 2 examinations are very important for consideration. The letters from urology faculty at institutions where the student did a rotation are extremely important. These letters must reflect the positive energy described above. Finally, the applicant's personal statement is very valuable. It should reflect an attitude of service, unselfishness, and community involvement.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    There are several traits that would indicate that a student has the potential to be an excellent resident. Come early and stay late. Know the patients assigned to you and study about their disease processes. Roll up your sleeves and show the resident staff that you can work right along side them and keep up with their pace. Manual dexterity should be practiced at home and not learned in the operating room.
  • Survey Respondent: Andrew Peterson, MD, Residency Program Director
    Residency Program: Duke University
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Duke Urology's mission is to train urologic surgeons to become leaders and role models in their communities. While at Duke, you will work with excellent, well regarded faculty that are considered to be the premier urologists in the world at a state-of-the-art medical center that is consistently ranked in the top 10 of all programs in the United States. Duke offers the full range of urologic subspecialties, excellent clinical and surgical volume with an incredible exposure to a wide breadth of clinical urology and operative experience. Since the Duke University medical center is located on the university campus you will have the opportunity to conduct cutting edge urologic research in basic science, clinical research, and health services outcomes. This allows the opportunity to do collaborative and translational research with other world renowned academicians from multiple backgrounds and specialties. This broad clinical experience, research opportunity and educational experience are all delivered in a respectful and professional environment that promotes personal growth and success. In the words of one of our graduates “I would choose to train in our program again because it provides a well-rounded experience with high surgical volume, great research exposure, and world-class faculty. The training program prepares residents for a rewarding career in either private practice or academics and provides a stepping stone for fellowship in every major sub specialty in Urology. Durham affords residents an outstanding quality of life and the program actively encourages a healthy work-life balance”.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    We are looking for hard working, conscientious, bright, inquisitive, energetic young doctors who are self-motivated to push the frontiers of their profession. We seek people who will mesh well with our cohesive group of residents. These are people who have the following individual qualities: 1. The passion, drive and ability to achieve excellence in urologic surgery 2. The ability to charismatically lead and function as part of a medical team 3. Those who possess the highest moral character and are able to work in a team oriented environment. Those who possess personal integrity, good work ethic, academic skills, , and social and interpersonal skills.
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Because we are interested in a well-rounded, academically strong, inquisitive and self-motivated resident it is difficult to place a hierarchy on individual attributes. While research experience is a plus, it is not mandatory. While we do have a minimum for board scores, after that it is the overall package we are looking at in the applicant. Those with extensive research experience with publications are desired. However, having achieved excellence in prior academic as well as extracurricular pursuits indicates a well-rounded applicant that is motivated, hard-working, and enthusiastic. We do find that the letters of recommendations are extremely helpful and important in differentiating good applicants from the great. The individual's performance on clinical rotations during medical school and preclinical courses are the best indicators of success during residency. In addition to this we find the following very valuable in evaluating applicants: 1. A stellar performance on a 4-week acting intern rotation (if applicable) 2. Strong letters of recommendation from reliable sources 3. Grades/evaluations from 3rd and 4th year clinical rotations 4. Board scores 5. Research experience and other degrees, e.g. MS, MPH, JD, etc. 6. Other...
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    The following are quotes from our faculty on what they find important in applicants: “Have some research and volunteer experience. Do well on the boards and in school. Apply widely. Before the interview – do your homework. Know a little bit about the program and the faculty. Ask intelligent questions. Show an interest in the interview. Nothing makes me more interested in applicant than them showing passion. That is what we want – people who are passionate.” “First, do well in medical school because we are seeking bright young people who are self-motivated. Secondly, perform at a high level on your clinical urology rotations and prove to your mentors that you will be a great resident. Thirdly, demonstrate a strong interest in urology by involving yourself in research or seek interesting extramural opportunities.” “Demonstrate tenacity and enthusiasm by strong performance on clinical rotations. Express openness to research and fellowship training.” “Spend as much time with urologists as you can, be proactive and find ways to get involved in clinic, the OR, and in the lab. Identify a faculty mentor as early as possible during medical school training. Discuss strategies that have made other candidates successful. Have a strategy for obtaining high-quality letters of recommendation. I'm sure every medical school has something like this, but this is a resource that I found extremely helpful: http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/edumedia/edufiles/medical_school/student_support_svcs/match-sw-style-2012.pdf” “Do well on your boards. Establish a relationship at their home institution to obtain outstanding letters of recommendation. Try and do some sort of research in urology while in medical school.”
  • Survey Respondent: Gennady Bratslavsky, MD, Department Chair
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    We are an outstanding residency program, well balanced in the urological subspecialties, teaching oriented, stable learning environment.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Talent, enthusiasm, promise...
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Board scores of 220+ will get most applicants in the door for an interview. The interview is the most important factor. Students who rotate with us and do well have an edge.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Decide early. Get a urology advisor, plan your application strategy. Do rotations at sites you would really like to consider highly.
  • Survey Respondent: Richard J. Macchia, MD, Department Chair
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * Our residents are very confident in their surgical abilities when they complete their training.
    * Our residents operate, not just watch.
    * Our residents are chiefs for 2 of the 4 year training period.
    * As of July 1, our U4 residents will rotate for 4 months each as Acing fellows at MSKCC.
    * We have a collegial department and the interaction between residents and faculty is friendly.
    * We have a superb record of obtaining the most prestigious fellowships in the world for our residents. We have former residents on the faculties of many medical schools across the country.
    * Those who do not go into academics are highly sought after for employment.
    * We have a great track record for our residents passing the Board examinations.
    * Pending full approval we will be changing the structure of our program to one pre urology general surgery year rather than the current 2 required years.
    * I take a personal interest in the welfare of my residents.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Each faculty member on the selection committee has his own criteria.. This maximizes the possibility that an applicant which be especially attractive to at least one. I think this is a superior system to one where the criteria are standardized. I personally look for a student who will contribute to the program, leave it a better program than when he/she arrived and will contribute to the reputation after graduation. I place great value on demonstrated mental and physical energy and enthusiasm. One also needs to be a team player and not be disruptive to the other residents.
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Again, each selection team member has his own priorities. I look at the whole package. A weakness in one area can be compensated for in another.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Take as many electives as you can. Select places where you might wish to do your residency and where you have a realistic chance of matching. Learn as much about each program as possible to assist in selecting electives.. Don't just say what you're going to do it. Work hard; study, don't just read; show up early, leave late; volunteer for every job; go to the literature, not just textbooks. Don't be obnoxious or arrogant no matter how good you are on paper.
  • Survey Respondent: John A. Fracchia, MD, Department Chair
    Residency Program: Lenox Hill Hospital
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Only one resident a year, a great collegial atmosphere, camaraderie and a very good overall general urology training experience.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Enthusiasm!
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Board scores and medical school grades followed by publications and lastly by letters of recommendation.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    It's a great specialty, rewarding professionally and personally.