Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Urology
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Director's Message

Our training program is unique in that we are a six-year urology program and your exposure to urology begins with your first year of residency. You are a urology resident on day one, with eight months dedicated to urology rotations in your first year.”

Stephanie Kielb, MD
Residency program director


Thank you for your interest in the urology residency at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. 

We are a resident-focused urology residency program with the goal of training the complete urologist. When people ask me what is the best part of our residency program, my answer is always the same: our residents. Our program provides in-depth exposure to all areas of urology, with fellowship-trained faculty in all sub-specialty areas of urology, including infertility, oncology, andrology, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, pediatrics, reconstruction and laparoscopy/endourology. Our diverse training sites are located within 4 miles of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, our main training site. The state-of-the-art Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is adjacent to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The Jesse Brown Veteran’s Administration Hospital and John H. Stroger, Jr., Hospital of Cook County are both 3.5 miles from Northwestern. Each site provides a unique experience with varying patient populations and a diverse case mix.

Our training program is unique in that we are a six-year urology program and your exposure to urology begins with your first year of residency. You are a urology resident on day one, with eight months dedicated to urology rotations in your first year. This includes running your own urology consult service with faculty guidance. As the program director, I oversee and regularly evaluate all clinical rotations, including those in general surgery. In your first two years, you will do six months of general surgery rotations that will be selected by me based on their educational value. If you do the math, this means that a full 18 months of your first two years are on urology rotations (as is the remainder of your training). This early exposure means you actually get to do what you signed up for right out of the gate: urology.

Another unique aspect of our training is elective time. You will have six months during your PGY2 and PGY5 years to create your own training electives. The only requirement is that these are clinical rotations. Examples of previously chosen electives include advanced colorectal surgery, plastic surgery, nephrology and medical oncology. Truthfully, this elective program has been in place for so many years I cannot possibly list all the electives our residents have created. We also support international electives, and our residents have traveled to countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and South America. We are the most individualized and flexible urology residency program in the country.

Finally and most importantly, our program wants you to become the best urologist you can be. This can only be accomplished if you are healthy and happy. Residency is a very stressful time. Your health and well-being are a major focus of myself, Dr. Schaeffer, the faculty and McGaw. From day one, you will have a faculty mentor who you will meet with regularly to assess your experience and well-being. Dr. Schaeffer and I meet with the residents regularly, and I routinely conduct resident feedback sessions. Resident input is taken seriously, and program changes are made in collaboration with residents. We have regular faculty-resident outings, including Dr. Schaeffer’s personal favorite, bowling. Ashley Bassett, MD, a member of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is the resident wellness liaison and is available 24 /7 for any wellness or mental health concerns. She triages issues and refers trainees for counseling or medical treatment as needed. Any trainee contact with Dr. Bassett will remain confidential and will not be communicated with the program, faculty or institution, except in cases of imminent harm.

Northwestern University and the Department of Urology are committed to building a diverse faculty, workforce, trainee and student community. We strive to create an environment of belonging and inclusion for all. To this end, there are a number of awareness, educational and social programs offered to trainees, including the Underrepresented Residents and Fellows Forum, the Residency Showcase and the John E. Franklin Commitment to Diversity Award.

In summary, we offer a unique training program with early urology exposure, an individualized curriculum with dedicated elective time (including international electives) and an education-focused, supportive environment. If I can provide any further information, please feel free to contact me directly.

Stephanie Kielb, MD
Residency program director

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