Curriculum

The goal of our program is to provide residents with the skill-set and clinical education they will require for any type of career in urology, including private practice in small or large communities, hospital based practice or academia.

We provide the necessary balance of exposure between private practice and academic settings to allow for residents the experience to assess and choose their career path.

The residency experience involves the teaching hospitals of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, including the Buffalo General Medical Center (BGMC), Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital (MFSH), Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Veterans Affairs Western New York Hospital (VAWNYH), and the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital (OCH).

Rotations through these institutions include a balance of inpatient care and outpatient clinics, and are amplified by rotations through the Buffalo Ambulatory Surgical Center, as well as through the private offices of faculty members. The Department of Urology is composed of 27 full time and volunteer faculty members who in aggregate provide expertise in all domains of urology.

The University at Buffalo Urology Program recruits three residents per year.  Residents train in the urology program for five years.  Training as a PGY1 resident will include 4 months in urology and 8 months in general surgery training.  PGY2-PGY5 residents will train for 12 months in the urology department. 

The goal of our program is to provide residents with the skill-set and clinical education they will require for any type of career in urology, including private practice in small or large communities, hospital based practice or academia. We provide the necessary balance of exposure between private practice and academic settings to allow for residents the experience to assess and choose their career path.

Clinical Education

Clinical education at the University at Buffalo encompasses all aspects of contemporary urology, and includes outpatient clinics, inpatient consultations, and procedural and operative experiences. Outpatient clinics are held at Buffalo General Medical Center, the Erie County Medical Center, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Veterans Administration Western New York Healthcare System and THE Oishei Children’s Hospital.

Operative skills are taught at all sites in a systematic manner with residents receiving progressively increasing responsibility, under supervision, for performing all aspects of procedures. Residents receive robust training in “open” surgery, endoscopic surgery, percutaneous surgery, ureteroscopy, transurethral surgery, laparoscopic surgery and robotics. Importantly, and in order to accelerate mastery of the later two techniques, residents are introduced to laparoscopy and robotics using state-of-the-art surgical simulators.

Surgical Experience

The primary goal of the department is to ensure that residents develop mature evidence-based decision making skills and simultaneously acquire robust technical expertise. In this latter content, the  surgical skills lab, as well as the surgical simulator has greatly amplified the degree and rapidity with which residents acquire competence in robotic, laparoscopic and “open” surgical procedures. As a consequence of the extensive and robust operative experience provided by the participating hospitals in adult and in pediatric urology, residents typically far exceed Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) required norms for the number of operative cases performed during residency.

The residents are exposed to robotic assisted procedures at multiple sites including Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Residents first start as bedside assistant and are gradually incorporated on the robotic console to allow for training in all portions of robotic procedures.

Surgical Volume

Our residents always meet and exceed the required surgical volume of required cases set by the ACGME.

Rotation Schedule

Residents receive extensive experience and rotate at various hospitals and clinical sites throughout the city of Buffalo,  including the Buffalo General Medical Center, the Erie County Medical Center, the John R. Oishei Children's Hospital, the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, the Buffalo Ambulatory Surgery Center and private physician offices.   

Departmental Conferences

Educational sessions in the Department of Urology consist of weekly grand rounds, which are attended by all faculty, residents, medical students and by community based urologists.

At conferences, related disciplines are also represented, including faculty from radiation oncology, diagnostic imaging,  and medical oncology. This setting provides residents the opportunity to deliver oral presentations and to keep up with the most current practices in urology and the urologic-related sciences. In addition, and as part of the grand rounds program, a monthly morbidity and mortality conference is held.

Basic science conferences are conducted twice monthly and are structured using a comprehensive curriculum which is designed to encompass all subject areas in urology. In addition, there is a monthly urologic imaging conference, research conference and journal club.  There is a bi-monthly pediatric grand rounds conference a a bi-monthly surgical skills conference.  All conferences are organized and directed by faculty with relevant subject matter expertise.

The monthly research conference incorporates a series of didactic lectures on clinical research and the step-wise process of starting and performing projects as well as analyzing data and writing manuscripts.  There is dedicated time for the residents to discuss their projects with each other and faculty to make sure each resident continues to progress at a steady pass, as well as generating more ideas and recognizing potential challenges along the way.

Residents have 1.5 hours of protected time each week to review areas in which require more in-depth didactic sessions.  

Resident Research

Each resident is required to complete at least one research project during residency training, although many residents complete two or three projects. Resident research is presented at various national and regional meetings sponsored by the American Urological Association.   Residents who present their projects at meetings receive full financial support to attend these meetings.

Residents usually select a clinically related topic with members of the faculty serving as mentors to ensure successful completion of resident research endeavors. In addition, residents have the opportunity to perform translational and basic science projects and these have invariably been of such quality that they are presented at national urologic meetings.

Within the teaching hospitals and outpatient sites, the presences of a large patient base captured by EHR and by databases facilitate productive resident research. We have incorporated ample time into each rotation so as to ensure that residents have sufficient time and support to pursue research projects.

On-Call Schedule

The Department strictly adheres to the work hour regulations of both the New York State Department of Health and those of the ACGME. The department carefully monitors residents for adherence to the work-hour regulations.

Junior residents take call on average of two week days per week and one to two weekend days per month during their PGY1-PGY3 years. During PGY4 and PGY5 years, residents take senior call one week a month, where they supervise the junior residents.

Assessment of Resident Performance

Residents are evaluated at the completion of each rotation using the ACGME competencies, (patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning, professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills, and system-based practice).

In addition to the individual faculty evaluations, residents are assessed on conference participation, in-service examination performance, and on research productivity.

Residents meet with the program director at least semi-annually to review evaluations, in a joint process that emphasizes strategies to enrich and enhance resident performance.

ABU Examinations

Certification by the American Board of Urology (ABU) requires successful completion of both components of the certifying process. Part I of the process is a written examination that residents typically undertake immediately following completion of residency. Upon successful completion of the Part I examination, residents are then eligible to take Part II (oral certifying examination) 18 months (or somewhat longer if the resident undertakes fellowship training) after completion of residency.

In the past 10 years, all residents who graduated from the program took Part I of the examination and of those, 93 percent successfully passed on their first attempt. Similarly, 95 percent of residents successfully passed Part II on their first attempt.

Individuals who were unsuccessful on the first attempt on either Part I or Part II were subsequently successful in passing these examinations.