As I come to the home stretch of my urologic training here in Buffalo, I can’t help but feel thankful for matching here over five years ago, as I’m convinced this program and I were meant for one another.
What initially drew me here, and what continues to be evident on a daily basis, is the camaraderie and cohesiveness we have amongst the residents. Ask any of my peers here and you’ll likely get a similar story—both in terms of impression at the time of interviews, as well as validation with the experience throughout training. We sincerely care about each other, and oftentimes go out of our way to lessen the burden on our co-residents, because they do the same for us.
In terms of training, the volume of bread-and-butter urology cases is significant. By the end of my third year, I felt comfortable tackling just about any endourologic procedure on my own. The attendings here have seen thousands of these cases, and are comfortable letting us work through challenges because they can step in at a moments’ notice to rescue us if necessary. The senior years afford more time and autonomy with open procedures, with the always-present safety net of knowledgeable and experienced mentors to guide us through cases without malice, belittlement, or toxicity. I am truly grateful for the surgical tutelage I’ve received here, and I will leave training skilled enough to operate, but humble enough to practice safely.
With regards to city of Buffalo and the surrounding areas, I believe these were perfect for residency: good food, plenty of nature, minimal traffic, safe neighborhoods, and affordable cost of living. Sure, we get snow. However, the city’s infrastructure is there to clean the streets quickly; whereas a dusting of snow can cause calamity in other cities, it would take a veritable avalanche to alter the course of living in the Buffalo winters. They’re really not bad at all.
If you’re reading this, you probably want to be a urologist. If so, congrats! At the end of the day, it’s likely that no matter where you go, your training will be adequate to practice and take good care of your patients, or prepare you well for subspecialty training. The important consideration, in my opinion, is really determining fit; will you and your residency program be a good match? Can you picture yourself there for five years? Do the residents that are already there seem like your type of people?
Many applicants ask me the same questions I asked back when I was in their shoes: Are you happy with your training? Would you match here if you could do it all over again?
To which I invariably respond: Yes, without hesitation.