A new residency program in urology is being established at UMass Medical School and will begin accepting applications in September, according to Mitchell Sokoloff, MD, chair and professor of urology.
“Part of our mission as academic urologists is to train the next generation,” said Dr. Sokoloff, in announcing the new program, which was approved by the American Medical Association’s Residency Review Committee in June. “This program gives us tremendous validation nationally and provides greater opportunities for research, investigation and outreach.” Urology residents will spend one year in general surgery, followed by four years in urology, which will include learning necessary skills to perform urologic surgery and care for outpatient urologic conditions, according to Jennifer Yates, MD, assistant professor of urology, who will serve as residency program director. “The residency is a natural extension of our interest in training the next generation of physicians, and will also help us share our passion for the field of urology,” said Dr. Yates. “I expect that we will recruit and train excellent urologists, and we plan to be one of the strongest urology residency training programs in New England.” “Having a residency program gives the Department of Urology national standing as an academic program and increases our repute and prestige,” Sokoloff added. “It also acknowledges the dedication and hard work of our faculty to create a center of excellence in clinical and academic urology.” Initially, one resident per year will be accepted, growing to two per year, which is the national average in such programs, Sokoloff said. Approximately 300 urology residents enter the highly competitive field each year. There is a match rate of 66 percent for students having studied at a medical school in the United States. Sokoloff expects to interview up to 30 potential residents before a match is made. The new program is also in line with the American Urological Association’s goal of increasing the number of practicing urologists in the country, a field that could have a severe shortage by 2020. According to the association, a report by the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Professionals projects that by 2020 there will be a need for 16,000 urologists to meet the demand of patients, yet there will only be half that number actively practicing. The outlook is bleaker in rural communities where urologists tend to be older and nearing retirement. “As the urology department in Massachusetts’ only state medical school, we view ourselves as the commonwealth’s urology department and take pride in our mission of increasing the urologic health of the state’s citizens,” Sokoloff said. The department has seven full-time faculty members who are mostly subspecialty fellowship-trained and provide expertise in the management of pediatric urology, urologic oncology, voiding dysfunction and stones.