Urology Fellowship

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Division of Pediatric Urology offers a 2-year fellowship program. The program includes four full-time faculty members:  Glenn Cannon, MD; Francis Schneck, MDRajeev Chaudhry, MD; and Janelle Fox, MD.

Fellow Selection Criteria

The pediatric urology fellow will be selected from a pool of candidates who will have completed an approved urology residency program within the U.S. prior to the start of their pediatric urology year.  The candidate will have demonstrated an interest in pediatric urology as evidenced by letters of recommendation, scholarly accomplishments and/or extramural activities.  Candidates will be ranked based on their ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills as well as their ability to work well with the staff at the Children’s Hospital.

One pediatric urology resident position will be available per year. This position will only be filled if a qualified candidate can be recruited.

Overview

The pediatric urology residency educational program is designed to provide a comprehensive and well-rounded exposure to all clinical areas of pediatric urology.   Our mission is to train Compassionate, Competent, Confident (CCCs) pediatric urologic surgeons that are well-versed in all areas of pediatric urology. 

This includes but not limited to:

  • Hypospadias
  • Hydronephrosis
  • Vesicoureteral reflux
  • Neurogenic bladder/spina bifida
  • Disorders of sexual differentiation
  • Robotic/laparascopic surgery
  • Nephrolithiasis
  • Exstrophy
  • Ureteral anomalies
  • Scrotal/testicular pathology
  • Oncofertility

In the operating room, the fellow will be exposed to multiple techniques and approaches to a breadth of urological problems. We offer a robust open and minimally invasive program.  Fellows will be exposed to endourological, robotic and laparoscopic approaches.  In the clinic, the fellow will be exposed to outpatient management of all pediatric urological diagnoses.  The fellow will be involvement inpatient care with management of both surgical and nonsurgical urologic conditions. Triage and management of patients presenting to the emergency department will also be a part of the training program.

First year: 100% clinical

The fellow is responsible for running the inpatient urology service and will serve as the senior member of the resident team.  He/she will supervise the general urology residents in their day-to-day functions (responsible for assigning cases/clinics for residents). Although there will be variation from week to week, the goal for the fellow will be three days in the operating room, one full day in the outpatient clinic and one day per week that can be used in a flexible manner, either for further operative experience, outpatient experience or academic endeavor.  The fellow is responsible for overseeing/triaging all urology consults. 

Our clinical volume is in the 90-95% percentile nationally and thus our first-year fellows meet their minimum (if not exceed) their clinical requirements well before the end of first year.  Our program is unique in that we offer both open and minimally invasive (robotic, laparascopic, endourologic) techniques.   Please click here for case logs for past/current fellows. 

Second year

80% research, 20% clinical.  Fellow is responsible for participating in clinical, translational or basic science research during this year.  Clinical aspect - fellow will serve a “junior” attending with the backup of our faculty.  The fellow will share call responsibilities and participate in the attending call pool (~1 call/week, ~1 weekend/month).  The fellow will have his/her own ½ day clinic per week.  He/she will also be responsible for staffing one ½ day Myelomeningocele Disciplinary clinic per month.  Surgical cases generated from call or clinic will can be scheduled utilizing our urology OR block time.

The second-year experience is quite unique compared to other programs as the fellow practices how to be an attending, management of patients longitudinally, making both clinical and surgical decisions, while still having the back-up of our faculty.  Several of our graduates have voiced that this second-year experience is invaluable.  In fact, several of them have left fellowship with the confidence of managing most urologic conditions on their own. 

Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of the program can be broken down as follows and the pediatric urology fellow will be able to:

  • Evaluate the child with a urological problem in the outpatient setting. This will include review of history, complete physical examination, performance of office ultrasound as indicated and determination of further urologic or radiologic testing required.
  • Evaluate the child with a urological problem in the emergency setting. The resident will understand triage of patients to inpatient admission, emergent operation or radiologic evaluation or outpatient follow up.
  • Evaluate the child with urological trauma.  In conjunction with the pediatric surgery team and as part of the level one trauma center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the urology resident will evaluate through history, physical examination and radiologic studies, the extent of urological injury. Within the context of a potentially multiply injured child, appropriate evaluation and management will be determined.
  • Be able to perform, interpret and understand complex urodynamic testing. This would include cystometrogram, EMG, uroflow and urethral pressure profile when indicated. Appropriate management based on urodynamic findings, including intermittent catheterization, medical therapy and reconstructive surgery will be expected.
  • Determine the appropriate surgical management of congenital anomalies of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra and genitalia.  By the end of the residency program, resident will be competent in performing these reconstructive operations in a future unsupervised setting.
  • Be able to manage the postoperative patient in an appropriate manner with emphasis on economy, patient safety and outcomes.

Work Hours and Coverage Responsibilities

The program director is responsible for the assignment of reasonable duty hours.  The pediatric urology resident will be expected to be in the hospital or clinic during normal working hours, 5 days per week. The resident will not be expected to take first call, but will take backup call behind a general urology resident. The pediatric urology resident will be free of clinical duties every other weekend.  Because an attending urologist will be present for any after hours case, the pediatric urology resident would only be expected to be present for index cases or other procedures based on their interest.

Research

Research is a huge component of the fellowship, specifically during the second year.  We expect the second-year fellow to spend approximately 80% time on research endeavors.   Research projects can be clinical, translational or basic science.  We have several ongoing projects and collaborations with other departments.  We also have access to pediatric healthcare databases.  Dr. Janelle Fox is involved in Quality Improvement research and initiatives.

Our fellows have been highly motivated and successful with research and have published in several esteemed journals.  Research opportunities are boundless with access to University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon.   

We encourage our fellows to present and attend conferences each year which are covered by the division.   Past conferences attended: AUA/SPU, SPU Fall congress, Joint SPU/ESPU conference, NSAUA conference, SB World Congress, World Congress of Endourology.  (links to research)
International Opportunities 

Our faculty places a strong emphasis on global surgical healthcare – this is one of the many reasons why our fellowship is so unique.  Our faculty have strong ties with several organizations and have embarked on quite a few international endeavors over the last few years.  Dr. Francis Schneck is Vice Chair of Board for IVUMed, and has recently travelled to Rwanda, Uganda, Senegal and Ethiopia!  We also work with organizations such as Children’s Surgery International and SAFE.  Dr. Rajeev Chaudhry has recently travelled to Tanzania, and Dr. Janelle Fox has travelled to Liberia and Dominican Republic.   Fellows are highly encouraged to participate in international trips with the faculty during their second year of fellowship and have the complete support by our Chief Dr. Glenn Martin.   Most of our past fellows have gone on 1 or more international trips during their training.   (link for international webpage)

Didactics

Journal club – monthly
Research meeting – monthly 
DSD conference - monthly
Preoperative indications conference - weekly
Core curriculum - weekly
Robotics/laparoscopy hands-on training – monthly 
Pediatric grand rounds/Mortality and Morbidity – 5 times per year
Tumor board – when we have cases to discuss

Alumni

  • Dr. Christina Kim - University of Connecticut (faculty), private practice
  • Dr. Paul Noh - Cincinnati Children's Hospital (faculty)
  • Dr. Ethan Polsky - Tampa, Florida (private practice)
  • Dr. Michael Ost – Previous Chief of our division, Vice Chair Dept Urology at WVU
  • Dr. Danielle Sweeney - Austin, Texas (private)
  • Dr. Regina Norris - Columbia, South Carolina (private)
  • Dr. Gaayana Raju – San Antonio, TX (private)
  • Dr. Janelle Fox - Navy Medical Center, now faculty UPMC Children’s
  • Dr. Omaya Banihani - King Saud University
  • Dr. Moira Dwyer - Geisinger Clinic (faculty)
  • Dr. Pankaj Dangle – University of Alabama (faculty)
  • Dr. Rajeev Chaudhry - Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (faculty)
  • Dr. Patrick J. Fox - Pediatric Urology Associates, Charlotte, NC (private)
  • Dr. Mary Killian – Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Memphis (faculty)

“My fellowship training at UPMC Children’s more than prepared me to tackle my first year in private practice.  The faculty were enthusiastic and provided a balance of hands-on instruction and autonomy.” – Patrick J. Fox, Pediatric Urology Associates, Charlotte, NC

“My second year experience was invaluable.  It gave me a great foundation and the confidence needed for my first year as an attending.  I felt comfortable doing cases such as bladder augments, complex robotic cases, proximal hypospadias repairs and more in my first year!” – Rajeev Chaudhry, Assistant Professor, UPMC Children’s

“The program prides itself on global health advocacy, which is unique.  Many opportunities to go on international surgical trips focused on pediatric urology with our faculty – championed by our Fellowship Director and 100% supported by our Chief.  I was fortunate to travel to Zambia and Tanzania during my fellowship training.”  Mary E. Killian, Assistant Professor, UT Memphis, Le Bonheur’s Childrens