Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Urology
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Curriculum

A typical six-year rotation schedule for a Northwestern Urology resident

PGY1

Pediatric Urology

Urology Consults

VA Urology

General Surgery: SICU, Gen Surg, Vascular

PGY2

Electives: Plastics, Path/Rad, Gen Surg

Outpatient Urology

NMH Urology

Urology Consults

General Surgery: SICU, Transplant

PGY3

VA Urology

NMH Urology

Pediatric Urology

PGY4

Research Year

PGY5

Electives: International (Austria), Rad/Med Onc, Urogynecology

Outpatient Urology

Stroger Urology

NMH Urology

PGY6

NMH Urology

VA Urology

Choose a year below to learn more about our program timeline.

 PGY1

During this first year, the PGY1 resident learns the essentials of patient management and foundations of surgical techniques. 

PG1 residents spend eight months on urology rotations.

Three months in the Department of Urology at the Jesse Brown Veterans' Administration Hospital

  • Manage a busy procedure clinic, performing more than 10 procedures per day (prostate biopsies and cystoscopic evaluations)
  • Have an integral role in running the inpatient urology service
  • Act as surgical assistant in operative cases

Two months on the Northwestern Memorial Hospital urology consult service

  • Is the liaison between urology and the emergency and inpatient services
  • Perform initial evaluation of all hospital urologic consultations
  • Formulate a diagnostic and treatment plan with the urology faculty
  • Acts as first assistant during operative procedures, providing continuity of care

Three months in the Department of Pediatric Urology at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

  • Learn the fundamentals of pediatric urology and the common conditions treated by pediatric urologists
  • Participates as a first assist for pediatric urology procedures
  • Learn the basics of the clinical management of pediatric urologic patients

Four months in the Department of Surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital

During these general surgery rotations, broad experience is gained in laparoscopy and endoscopy, with exposure to open abdominal surgery.

  • Surgical apprenticeship
  • Surgery night float
  • Two months of surgical intensive care

 PGY2

One Elective Month

Electives are chosen and designed by the residents based on their interests and educational needs. Examples of past electives include: plastic surgery, radiology, pathology, nephrology, colorectal surgery and urogynecology.

  • Residents are encouraged to be creative in designing their electives
  • Electives can be in any clinical field they wish
  • Electives lay a solid foundation for managing complex patients
  • They provide a well-balanced background for the remaining years

Two Months of General Surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital

These experiences provide opportunities to manage transplant recipients, traumas and critically ill patients with increasing autonomy.

  • One month on transplant surgery
  • One month of night float, managing the surgical intensive care unit

Six Months of Urology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital

  • One month on the consult rotation
  • One month as the urology night float resident
  • One month rotating in a variety of urology outpatient clinics, learning the principles of clinic-based practice
  • Three months on a rotation focusing on infertility and endoscopy

Three Months of Urology at the Jesse Brown Veterans' Administration Medical Center

  • Residents are given increasing operative responsibility
  • Begin to function autonomously in both endoscopic and basic open surgery

 PGY3

One Elective Month

Electives are chosen and designed by the residents based on their interests and educational needs. Examples of past electives include: plastic surgery, nephrology, colorectal surgery, perioperative medicine, urogynecology, medical oncology and radiation oncology.

Three Months in the Department of Pediatric Urology at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

  • Fundation as a chief resident
  • First assistant on major pediatric urology surgical cases
  • Daily management of the inpatient service

Four Months at Northwestern Memorial Hospital

  • Two months on urologic oncology rotation
  • Two months on reconstruction and female urology rotation
  • First assistant on minor and major operative procedures

Three Months at the Jesse Brown Veteran's Administration Medical Center

  • Assist on major urological procedures
  • Act as surgeon on minor operative procedures under the supervision of the attending surgeon
  • Receive an independent patient care experience and unique opportunity for continuity of patient care

 PGY4

All residents spend a full year performing research projects designed by the resident.

  • This research year is fully funded by the Department of Urology.
  • A faculty mentor is chosen by the resident based upon their research interests. The research mentor can be any faculty member of Northwestern University.

Visit the Resident Research section of our Areas of Research page for examples of how our current residents are spending their lab years.

 PGY5

Fifth-year residents are senior residents. They assist with all major operative procedures and day-to-day inpatient management decisions.

Three Months of Electives

Residents have the opportunity to travel off-site for both domestic and international electives. 

  • Nations visited by residents include:
    • Egypt
    • Vietnam
    • India
    • Ghana
    • Tanzania
    • Austria
    • Switzerland
    • Mongolia
    • Dominican Republic
    • Thailand
  • Electives outside of McGaw within the United States include:
    • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
    • Indiana University
    • Cincinnati Children's Hospital
  • Electives at Northwestern Memorial Hospital include:
    • Advanced colorectal surgery
    • Advanced urogynecology
    • Perioperative medicine
    • Radiation oncology
    • Medical oncology

Three Months at Northwestern Memorial Hospital

  • Focus on pre-operative preparation, surgical skills and surgical decision-making
  • Advanced oncology surgery
  • Advanced reconstructive surgery

Three Months at the John H. Stroger, Jr., Hospital of Cook County

  • Broaden training as residents care for a diverse patient population with urologic problems unique to at-risk populations, such as rare infections, advanced cancers and complex trauma
  • Perform major urological procedures, including urologic trauma

 PGY6

PGY6 urology residents are chief residents on all rotations. The chiefs are responsible for managing the services while advancing their surgical and patient care skills to reach urologic surgeon attending-level by the end of this year.

Nine Months at Northwestern Memorial Hospital

  • Learn advanced skills in the areas of urologic oncology, laparoscopic and robotic surgery, reconstruction, female urology and endourology
  • Take on responsibility for the day-to-day care of the inpatient service
  • Run an independent resident clinic in which they determine and implement outpatient care plans (overseen by an attending faculty member); take responsibility for continuity of care and operative procedures related to these patients

Three Months at Jesse Brown Veterans’ Administration Medical Center

  • Chief-level responsibility in all areas of general urology
  • Take on the responsibilities of operative case scheduling, review of operative indications and oversight of junior residents
  • Serve as the primary surgeon on major urologic cases with supervision by attending faculty
  • Oversee junior residents during outpatient clinic 
  • Define and delegate junior residents' clinical responsibilities 
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