Faculty Survey Results

  • Survey Respondent: Mark D. White, MD, Residency Program Director
    Residency Program: Albany Medical College Program
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Our residency offers the opportunity to experience both academic and community urology practice. Our residents do well with respect to exposure to all of the subspecialties within urology as well as general urology. We emphasize continuity of care and give all level residents ample opportunity for OR and clinic-based experience. We encourage academic pursuits with research and the didactic portion of our program. Our residents leave the program with a solid foundation to enter private practice or pursue advanced fellowship training. The case logs show solid performance with many cases above the 75th to 90th percentile for case experience.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Our program is looking for solid academic performance, an inquisitive nature, and a good work ethic. We promote teamwork in the residency program and give residents ample opportunity to work in a supportive environment.
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    The important parts of the application are the personal statement, Dean's letter, and summary of extracurricular activities. We look for information that distinguishes the applicant from the other prospective resident applicants. All applicants are usually academically qualified to complete a residency training program. We are looking for applicants that fit our style of training.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    For prospective applicants, we expect them to be honest. The applicant should be realistic in applying to programs and not send blanket applications to a large number of programs. We hope that prospective applicants talk with urologists in the community and on the medical school faculty to help define their expectations for a residency program. The key to a successful application is strong performance, desire for continued learning, and the ability to participate in the team.
  • Survey Respondent: Hossein Sadeghi-Nejad, MD, Residency Program Director
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * The UMD New Jersey Medical School Program in Urological Surgery is an ACGME-accredited 5 year program with an excellent track record. The last Residency Review Committee (RRC) visit granted the program a 5-year accreditation (highest possible). Dr. Marc Jordan is the new Chairman of the Division of Urology and will start his tenure in the summer of 2003. Significant additional resources have been allocated to the urology program in the past year and these are certain to further strengthen the residency training. The following is a list of some of the reasons a prospective candidate may apply to our program:
    o A well-balanced educational experience with exposure to a major trauma center, one of the largest VA facilities in the East Coast, a national/internationally recognized pediatric urology program and 2 large medical centers (University Hospital; Hackensack University Medical Center) offering a wide variety of urological experiences including robotic/laparoscopic surgery and microsurgery.
    o A superior operative case load (consistently in the upper tertile nationally)
    o Fellowship-trained or nationally recognized specialists in uro-oncology, female urology, transplant & renovascular hypertension, male infertility, erectile dysfunction, laparoscopy-robotics, and pediatric urology.
    o Outstanding post-residency placement in fellowships & private practices. Of the previous 10 chief residents, 5 have entered private practice and 5 have pursued specialty fellowships in laparoscopy, pediatric urology, endourology, renovascular surgery, and reconstructive urology.
    o 100% pass rate in written/oral boards for our graduates in the past 6 years
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Dedication to the field of urology, superior academic performance, integrity, and a genuine interest in our program. Since most of the applicants fulfill these criteria, a "team player" spirit and positive personality traits are additional important considerations.
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Given the extremely competitive nature of the urology residency application process, it is the combination of the previously mentioned criteria, rather than one or two specific aspects of the application, that separate the applicants invited for interview from others.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Start early. Be sure to do a clinical rotation in your most desired residency program. Take your Boards VERY seriously and prepare for them. Get to know the residents in at least one or two of your desired programs and work VERY hard during your clinical rotations on their services. You can not only learn from them, they can be a positive influence when it comes to the final rank list.
  • Survey Respondent: Jay Hollander, MD, Residency Program Director
    Residency Program: William Beaumont Hospital
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * Applicants should consider the William Beaumont Hospital urology program because of:
    o Its incredible volume and balanced variety of cases all done in one hospital that is consistently in the top 5 in terms of hospital admissions surgical procedures in the country.
    o The presence of more than one fellow trained attending urologist in many of the urologic subspecialties that would provide several options in managing patients. There are 4 pediatric urologists, 4 female urology/urodynamics, 4 urologic oncologists, 3 infertility/andrology, 6 endourologic/laparoscopic/robotic surgeons from among 29 attending urologists on staff.
    o A close knit group of smart, happy, hard working residents who are family oriented.
    o An extremely supportive and progressive hospital located in one of the most desired suburban communities in southeastern Michigan where the per capita income is one of the highest in the country.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    * The Beaumont Urology residency program is looking for a successful medical student who is:
    o In the upper 1/3 of their class.
    o Has a diversified life experiences.
    o Highly recommended especially by urologic surgeons.
    o Has the personality to blend easily with our resident and attending staff.
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    * The transcript and the National Board exam result.
    * Letters of recommendation.
    * Extra curricular activities including research experience, volunteer work, travels, etc.
    * Content of the personal essay.
    * "Intangibles" from the personal interview.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    * The preparation should start by excelling in your courses, rotations, and the National Board Examination as this is the first level of screening in our program.
    * Ask a urologist or two who you feel will write the strongest letter of recommendation for you.
    * If invited for an interview, respond quickly so you can get a better choice of date and time that is convenient for your schedule.
    * At the interview, be yourself.
  • Survey Respondent: Khaled S. Hafez, MD, Program Director
    Residency Program: University of Michigan
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    Our program is unique in the following: 1) World class institution, department, and faculty. Resident teaching is an utmost priority to all faculty, and all aspects of urologic sub-specialties are provided by multiple faculty that have national and international recognition in their areas of expertise. 2) As program director, I am fully committed to provide the best possible training, education and career opportunities. It is my personal mission to assure that our program is one of the best, if not the best in the country. 3) The educational structure of the program itself is a key distinguishing feature. Our residents are expected to provide input and voice their opinion in their training. We have exceptional residents and ensure that we provide our residents with the necessary tools to excel.

    Program highlights provided by PD:

    1. Curriculum and Lectures: The basic urology curriculum will span over two years with core topics reviewed yearly in the beginning of the academic year. Four focused review sessions will be provided by the chief residents (PD supervised) prior to the In-Service Exam (ISE).

    2. Rotations: In response to faculty and resident feedback, we are piloting this year, three month block chief rotations on the Oncology/VA services. We hope this will positively impact the resident/faculty experience and patient care. Depending on feedback/outcome we may expand other services/rotations to three month intervals.

    3. Basic Surgical Training:

    A.) Open techniques. Practice sessions started June 2013 for PGY1s. This was very well received by the residents and they requested twice yearly sessions for the first two years if possible.

    B.) Robotic techniques 1.) Faculty will be hosting an introductory practice session at the Simulation Center every July. 2.) To further improve training we are in the process of breaking down commonly performed robotic cases into detailed systematic steps. Faculty/residents can track progress on the specified forms. These forms will be available and I encourage their use to track progress.

    4. Laparoscopic and Endoscopic techniques: Feedback from faculty and residents strongly reflects strength in these areas.

    5. Learning Evaluations:

    A.) Oral Boards: Yearly formal mock oral boards will start Spring/Summer 2014. We are in the process of finalizing the details. We will standardize the exam according to the HO level.

    B.) Written In-Service: Well defined standards have been communicated with all faculty/residents.

    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Our program is a high caliber program and we have high expectations from our residents. There is no question that residency is tough. Our residents work hard, and we continue to inspire them to do better and never settle for mediocrity. We encourage students that are motivated, hardworking, ambitious, ethical and, most importantly, trust-worthy. Scholarly activity and outstanding academic record are desired.
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Academic performance, scholarly activity and letters of recommendation are critically analyzed. Performance during M4 rotations are taken into consideration. We solicit feedback from our residents and program coordinator.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Be realistic but always challenge yourself to achieve your dreams. Be organized, enthusiastic, and be yourself. Good performance and possible clinical research at your institution is helpful.
  • Survey Respondent: Jack S. Elder, MD, Residency Program Director
    Residency Program: Henry Ford Hospital
    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.
  • Survey Respondent: George Haleblian, M.D., Program Director
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?

    The goal of the Harvard Program in Urology (Longwood) is to train leaders in the field who will contribute both academically and clinically. Our objective is to train urologists who will develop, transform, and implement the future standard of care through innovative science, progressive education, and compassionate patient care. The Program is dedicated to serving the needs of our local, regional, national and global communities, and providing the highest quality health care to patients and their families at our campuses. Our goal is to expand the ability to care for urologic patients through research and integrating novel discoveries into patient care, and educating the next generation of urologic leaders. Key components of the program include:

    • Exceptional operative and clinical experience

    • Strong educational program

    • Research opportunities

    • Collaborative programs with other Harvard institutions (public health, business school, Center for Surgery and Public Health)

    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?

    The Harvard Program in Urology (Longwood) is looking for exceptional candidates that distinguish themselves by not only academic excellence, but also by their commitment to improving the world around them.  Students should be well rounded.  They should be dedicated and passionate about their interests and endeavors.  They should have a personable nature with the capacity to work well and communicate effectively with the entire healthcare team.  We strive to train exceptional compassionate physicians and future leaders in healthcare.

    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?

    All aspects of the application are carefully reviewed.  Emphasis is placed on examination scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation and sub-internship performance (any institution).  Sub-internship opportunities are available but are not required as we understand the limitations to scheduling these rotations.  For information on Sub-Internship opportunities click here.

    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    • Gain exposure to programs outside of your home institution and/or region to achieve some perspective prior to applying or formulating your rank list.

    • Strengthen your C.V. by demonstrating academic aptitude and participating in activities/projects that show an active interest in urology.

    • Consider programs that provide a breadth of exposure to various aspects of urology (research interests, technology, institutional styles, attending techniques, specialties and general urology, academic and private practice interests, etc.) so that you can make an educated career choice with as many options as possible in the field.

    • Choose a program that is the best fit for you personally. Do not choose exclusively because of a name or reputation, or you may find yourself dissatisfied with your choice down the road.

  • Survey Respondent: Ronald Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., Residency Program Director
    Residency Program: Johns Hopkins University
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * Extraordinary breadth of urologic practice ranging from oncology, endourology, pediatrics, infertility, reconstruction, erectile dysfunction, neurophysiology, stones, female urology, and basic sciences.
    * A large faculty with a wide variety of excellent mentors, with established history of innovation and leadership.
    * Outstanding research opportunities, with labs specializing in cancer genetics, cancer biology, proteomics, role of nutrition in cancer pathobiology, experimental therapeutics, gene therapy, erectile physiology, bladder cancer progression and metastasis, radiobiology of urologic cancers, and engineering applications to urologic practice.
    * Multidisciplinary teams. Faculty includes urologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, engineers, physicists, epidemiologists and immunologists.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Academic performance, productivity, self-initiative, commitment to excellence, strong interpersonal skills (e.g., ability to work well with others) and a genuine commitment to an academic career.
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Ranking of applicants is a complex process which involves the integration of academic performance, written essay, letters of recommendation and personal interviews. The ranking process is not performed until ALL of the components have been completed and applicants are then ranked as a group. No one component carries the same weight for every applicant.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Relax and be yourself. Open and honest discussion allows both you and the programs you are evaluating to most easily determine whether or not there is a "good fit". The matching process should not be looked at as a competition, but rather as an attempt to best place individuals into the programs which best fit their mutual needs.
  • Survey Respondent: Raju Thomas, MD, Department Chair
    Residency Program: Tulane University
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    * All possible urologic technology under one roof: DaVinci Robot, Fully mature Urologic Laparoscopy program since 1991, two in-house Shock wave Lithotripters, State-of -the -art Urodynamics set-up(Life-Tech), Full range of Urologic Prosthetics, Holmium Laser use since 1997,State-of-the-Art Endo laparoscopy Suites(Storz OR-1)and so on.
    * Among first programs to have a Section of Endo-Oncology.
    * Variety of patients(Private University Hospital, a VA Hospital, a Public State Hospital and a dedicated Children's hospital).
    * Dedicated sub-specialized faculty.
    * Endo-Laparoscopic skills lab.
    * On site Vivarium,cadaver labs.
    * Two full time Ph.Ds to help in Research activities.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    * Good consistent grades during med school.
    * Good scores on Step I & II exams.
    * Research experience.
    * Good meaningful recommendation letters.
    * Positive personal interview.
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    We give importance to all of the above.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Spruce up your C.V. to reflect all five categories listed in Question 1. In summary,it is a great time to be in Urology. It is a competitive match. So are all similar sub specialties. But the technology at our disposal, to impact our patient's lives, are phenomenal. Visit our web site.
  • Survey Respondent: Dennis Venable, MD, Department Chair
    If you were an applicant, why would you choose to train in your residency program?
    LSU Health Sciences Center - Shreveport offers fully accredited residency training, which is provided in a friendly, supportive environment.
    What is your program looking for in a graduating medical student?
    Well-balanced foundation in medicine and dedication toward pursuing Urology as a career.
    What part of an application do you consider most important in ranking applicants?
    Academic standing (GPA, Class rank), and national board scores represent an initial, objective evaluation guide - supplemented by resume, letters of recommendation and personal statement/personal interview.
    What advice do you have for medical students hoping to match in Urology?
    Take clinical elective(s) to reinforce initial interest and communicate with students in the class above you to gain their additional insight into the specialty and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the various programs at which they may have rotated. I would encourage the students to visit informally with the urology faculty at their schools to discuss their relative competitiveness for residency training, and ways they might increase their changes of a successful match (e.g., getting involved in clinical or basic science projects early on in medical school and perhaps considering applying for an American Foundation for Urologic Disease (AFUD) Medical Student Summer Grant).
  • Survey Respondent: Bernard Fallon, MD, Residency Program Director
    Residency Program:
    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.