Curriculum

Patrick Vecellio, MD; John Bodkin, MD.

Our trainees go on to become accomplished urology experts and skillful urologic surgeons. John J. Bodkin, MD, right, — a faculty member who completed our program — now mentors resident Patrick M. Vecellio, MD. 

We prioritize the quality of your training. Our program will enrich your clinical skills and equip you to master the multifaceted specialty of urological medicine and surgery.

Our curriculum includes outpatient clinics, inpatient consultations and procedural and operative experiences. Our primary goal is to ensure that you develop mature evidence-based decision-making skills while acquiring in-depth technical expertise. 

Support at Every Stage

From your first moment as a PGY-1 resident to the day you complete our program, we’ll support you every step of the way. Our current residents say we provide them with a comfortable amount of supervision while granting them the independence they need.

Are you still deciding whether to pursue academic medicine or private practice? Rest assured, we’ll expose you to both private practice and academic settings, giving you enough experience to assess your goals and determine your career path.

As you progress through our program and your competence increases, you’ll gain responsibilities. For instance, we’ll grant you more independence with:

  • diagnostic and pre-treatment evaluation of patients
  • counseling patients 
  • assisting patients in their selection among various therapeutic options

As a first-year resident you’ll undertake six months in general surgery and six months in urology. During PGY-2 to PGY-5 training, you’ll spend 12 months in our department. 

With each passing year, our seasoned faculty mentors will help deepen your ability to evaluate, understand and manage all types of genitourinary disease. Each year of training will be challenging, rigorous and rewarding in its own way.

Surgical Experience

We teach operative skills in a systematic manner. We’ll gradually increase your responsibility, under supervision, for performing all aspects of procedures. You’ll undertake robust training in open surgery, endoscopic surgery, percutaneous surgery, ureteroscopy, transurethral surgery and laparoscopic surgery.

You’ll also be exposed to robotic assisted procedures. You’ll begin as a bedside assistant, and as you advance, you’ll work with the robotic console and learn about the complex elements of robotic surgery.

By the time you finish our residency, you’ll have experienced no fewer than:

  • 250 general urology procedures (i.e., scrotal/inguinal surgery, transurethral resection, urodynamic studies, etc.)
  • 150 procedures for endourology / stone disease
  • 80 robotic procedures
  • 100 reconstructive surgeries
  • 45 pediatric procedures
  • 130 oncology procedures

Robotic Surgery

During robotic surgery training, we’ll provide you with instruction on the da Vinci surgical system, an advanced set of instruments that translates your hand movements into robotic movements while delivering highly magnified, 3D, high-definition views of the surgical area.

Using the da Vinci system, you’ll gain in-depth knowledge and experience with:

  • surgeon console: the area where you’ll sit during the procedure to control the robotic instruments, which move like a human hand
  • patient cart: the cart — positioned near the patient on the operating table — where the robotic instruments used for the operation move in real time in response to actions at the surgeon console
  • vision cart: the area that makes it possible for communication between the components of the system

We’re committed to developing your proficiency with leading-edge technology, so our curriculum enables you to undertake multiple phases of training in robotic surgery. Your progression through the phases will depend largely on your mastery of each step.

Rotations in a Variety of Clinical Settings

How are we able to offer you extensive experience in female and male adult and pediatric urology?

Our connections to major health care facilities throughout the greater Buffalo area enable you to treat a wide-ranging patient base during rotations in a variety of clinical settings.

You’ll undertake rotations that balance inpatient care with outpatient clinics, and you’ll gain experience in settings ranging from an ambulatory surgical center to private practice offices of faculty members.

Each of these facilities and sites provide an important contribution to your training experience.

Conferences and Didactics

To provide you with a rounded learning experience, we use a variety of pedagogical techniques, including conferences and didactics.  

We conduct regularly scheduled didactic sessions throughout your training. Sessions will include instruction in core domains of urology, including: 

  • calculus disease
  • female pelvic medicine
  • geriatric urology infertility and sexual dysfunction
  • pediatric urology
  • reconstruction
  • urologic oncology
  • urologic trauma
  • voiding dysfunction

You’ll partake in conferences and meetings including grand rounds conferences, tumor board conferences, morbidity and mortality conferencesbasic science conferencesresearch conferencessurgical skills conferencesjournal club meetings and a weekly resident-run Weider’s Club conference.

You’ll also engage in teaching rounds when you rotate through our clinical training sites

Teaching Experience

Strong mentoring from our faculty members is the backbone of our program, so you can always expect beneficial faculty supervision. But beyond that, every trainee needs knowledgeable and interested peers to support their development. 

That’s why in our program you will both receive and provide mentoring from fellow trainees.

Our chief and senior residents assist junior residents in acquiring skills and knowledge. As you progress through our program, you’ll help newer residents develop their technical competence and decision-making abilities.

You’ll also gain experience teaching medical students. You’ll help faculty instruct second-year students during the genitourinary portion of their introductory course on the clinical practice of medicine. You’ll also have opportunities to mentor medical students during their third-year clerkships and fourth-year electives.

Research

To help you maximize your research skills, we enable you to collaborate with world-class faculty on research projects investigating the development, treatment and prevention of urologic conditions.

All of our trainees are required to complete at least one research project during our program. Many complete two or three projects.

As a resident in our program, you’ll gain experience presenting your work. Our residents submit their research projects to:

  • Northeastern Section of the American Urological Association 
  • Upstate New York Urology Society
  • Celebration of Scholarship at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Like some of our residents, you may even have the opportunity to present at the particularly meritorious annual meeting of the American Urological Association.

Ample Preparation for Board Exams

We know how important it is to feel sufficiently prepared for your board exams.

The American Board of Urology (ABU) requires you to successfully complete two components of the certifying process; by the time you finish our training, you should feel prepared for these exams.

The first part of the process is a written exam that you’ll typically undertake as soon as you complete our residency. We’re confident our training will prepare you to pass the first component, enabling you to proceed to the second part, which is an oral certifying examination. 

The second component typically occurs 18 months after you finish our residency — or somewhat longer if you undertake fellowship training — and we’re confident that our program will provide you with a solid foundation for success on this exam.

We are proud to say that over the past decade, all of our graduates have taken the first part of the examination, and of those, 93 percent passed on their first attempt.

Additionally, 95 percent of our residents successfully passed the second exam on their first attempt.

These high pass rates speak to the quality of our residency. If you put in the effort, we’ll make sure you have the training and expertise to succeed.