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Hello, and welcome to Urology!

You have chosen a great elective during your third-year Surgery rotation. Most of the students who take this elective course enjoy themselves and learn more than they thought they would when they signed up for it.

During your rotation you will meet a group of urologists who are excited about their medical specialty and feel privileged to work in it. Urology is a rapidly evolving technological specialty that requires surgical and diagnostic skills. Watch the video below, Why Urology?, for a brief introduction to the field from the American Urological Association (AUA).

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Urology at UW

Urology is a specialty that treats patients with many different kinds of problems. At UW you will see:

  • patients with kidney problems like kidney cancer and kidney stones
  • patients with bladder problems such as bladder cancer and urinary incontinence
  • men with prostate cancer
  • men with benign prostatic enlargement and its subsequent symptom of difficult urination (these patients are often cared for by urologists as well as their primary care physicians)
  • men with erectile dysfunction and male-factor infertility
  • Pediatric Urology patients with an array of congenital problems with the kidneys, bladder, penis and testicles

The majority of urology patients at the UW require surgery, but others have problems that only require medication or reassurance. For this reason you will spend half of your urology rotation with faculty in the OR and the other half with faculty in clinic.

The focus of the Urology Rotation

The majority of you will not choose a career in Urology so this rotation is based on the AUA National Medical Student Curriculum. The AUA conducted a survey of a broad assortment of physicians around the country and asked, “What do you think every medical student should know about Urology before finishing medical school?” Based on the results, the curriculum includes the 10 core topics and two skills below.

1. Kidney Stones
2. Hematuria
3. Adult UTIs
4. Pediatric UTIs,
5. The Acute Scrotum
6. Urinary Incontinence
7. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
8. Prostate Cancer Management
9. Prostate Cancer Screening
10. Erectile Dysfunction
11. How to insert a Foley catheter
12. How to perform a digital rectal exam

You can find the new curriculum in your Medical Student Handbook and on Learn at UW. For your convenience, you will find links to three important videos that demonstrate the proper technique for Foley catheter insertion in men and women as well as the proper technique for performing a female genital exam. There are also links to some patient clinical scenarios that are fun and allow you to do more interactive computer based learning.

In addition to learning through participation in the operating room and seeing patients in clinic, there will be several small-group learning sessions with the Urology faculty in their offices. Lastly, one or two of the 3:00 General Surgery Core Discussion sessions are mentored by some of the Urology faculty and cover several of the core topics that the UW Urology faculty and the AUA feel are important for all medical students to learn.

Before you start, Educational Programs Manager Barb Lewis will email you a copy of your schedule with information about where you should be on your first day of the rotation. Stop by her office to pick up a copy of The Department of Urology Medical Student Handbook for you to use during and after your rotation. Barb will also lend you a textbook that will help augment the information in the curriculum. The textbook will need to be returned when your Urology rotation is over.

Barb will meet with you for orientation during the first afternoon of your Urology rotation. She will discuss learning objectives, give you a few suggestions and let you know how faculty provides feedback throughout the rotation.

Contact Information

Tracy Downs, MD
Associate Professor
Assistant Urology Medical Education Director
3223 MFCB
1685 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53705-2281
(608) 263-9534
downs@urology.wisc.edu

Barb Lewis, RN, MS
Department of Urology
Educational Programs Manager
3224 MFCB
1685 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53705-2281
(608) 263-1363
lewis@urology.wisc.edu


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