Education and Training

Education and Training

When you enroll as a medical student, resident, or fellow at the Department of Urology, you become part of our supportive and collaborative family. In our challenging and comprehensive program, you experience:

  • Diverse training in the medical and surgical management of urologic diseases
  • Active participation in clinical, basic, and advanced research
  • Learning and working with our nationally and internationally recognized faculty
  • Opportunity for publishing your research
  • Preparation to become a technically proficient surgeon with a deep understanding of nonsurgical aspects of urology
  • Global health initiatives through international missions including opportunities in Africa and India
  • Patient care and management in the clinic and outpatient settings

Opportunities include a wide range of experiences, such as:

  • Medical students explore urology through sub-internships and electives.
  • Residents complete a five-year program, learning all aspects of medical and surgical urology care and participating in clinical and basic research projects.
  • Fellows train to become experts in their chosen area of expertise and pursue advanced research.

Our graduates go on to be leaders in the field of urology in private practices, academic settings, and research. At Vanderbilt, we definitely work hard. We also have fun and enjoy all that Nashville has to offer while helping the community.

Residency Program

Residents gain valuable experience from rotations at hospitals with high volume surgical practices, focusing on minimally invasive robotic surgical techniques as well as open surgery. As a top residency program for Urology, our residents are high-caliber and all graduates have successfully completed board examinations, obtained desirable jobs and academic fellowships.

We follow a rigorous academic calendar that exposes residents routine and complex urologic care.

The Vanderbilt urology residency prepares clinicians for stellar careers, both clinical and research. Our residents go on to attend competitive fellowship programs and to become leading clinicians and researchers.


Urology fellows at Vanderbilt complete intense training and research programs in specific sub-specialties. Our four fellowships are nationally recognized for their rigor and comprehensive appeal, with national recognition in health outcomes and engineering.

Fellows gain hands-on experience, work on advanced research projects and studies, publish their work and collaborate with colleagues across the Vanderbilt campus.

Our four fellowship programs include:

Advanced Education Options

Some of our trainees seek advanced degrees to further their career development, including:

Medical Students

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine medical students in their third and fourth year can learn more about urology through sub-internships and electives.

The Advanced Clinical Experience (ACE) course (Urology, SURG 5640) sub-internship allows fourth-year medical students to give experience urology residency before the residency match.

Elective students can explore:

  • Urologic surgery
  • Research
  • Pediatric urology
  • Reconstructive urology

World-Class Learning from World-Renowned Leaders

Department of Urology trainees learn alongside highly recognized leaders in urology today - all within a supportive and friendly culture. Our faculty includes approachable, accomplished academic and clinical superstars.

  • We are innovators: Our team is among the most experienced in the nation in a variety of advanced techniques. We oft develop, test - and are the first to offer - the latest in robotic, image-guided and minimally invasive, laparoscopic surgery.
  • We deliver patient care excellence. Our patients receive care from internationally known doctors actively involved in academic research. Our urologic oncologists are a part of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Vanderbilt-Ingram is one of the nation's top-ranked National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and the only Tennessee center caring for adults and children with NCI designation.
  • We are researchers. Our faculty, fellows, and residents lead and participate in international, national, and regional studies to improve patient care and outcomes as well as influence health policy.
  • We are leaders. Our faculty serves regional and national leadership roles in nearly every component of organizational urology, including the American Urologic Association, the Society of Urologic Oncology, and many other urologic organizations.
  • We are collaborators. Our team works closely with faculty and researchers in other departments, colleges, and specialties (Engineering, Bioengineering, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Gynecology, etc.) on patient care and research.

Residents and fellows enjoy varied experiences:

The Center for Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research provides resources, research, and education opportunities with physicians, surgeons, residents, and biostatistics experts related to improved outcomes and quality of life for surgical patients.

Our Global Health Initiatives - under the guidance of Dr. Joesph A. Smith, Jr. - give residents and fellows the chance to design care delivery for low-technology settings in Africa. Our trainees teach procedure best practices to local doctors and provide care to patients.

The Vanderbilt Urologic Society offers programs, CME opportunities and the annual Rhamy-Shelley Lecture for Department of Urology alumni, current trainees, and faculty, and Tennessee-based urologists.


Located a mile from downtown Nashville, Vanderbilt University provides easy access to training locations for Department of Urology trainees.

Locations where you may work and train include: