Education: Endourology and Laparoscopic Surgery Fellowship: Program Overview

Program Overview

As fellows progress through our program, they experience graded surgical responsibility and are progressively responsible for increased operative care of individual cases.

Fellows spend approximately:

  • Two or three days a week in the operating room on robotic/laparoscopic and advanced endourologic urology
  • One day a week seeing patients in our outpatient clinic
  • One day a week on research activities

Fellows also are responsible for preparing teaching conferences for residents and staff. Fellows participate in teaching residents and medical students in the evaluation and management of endourologic and laparoscopic urology patients.

Endourologic fellows receive a salary at the PGY6 level for the state of Tennessee.

Clinical Program

The clinical educational program for fellows includes spending one day a week working with patients in our outpatient clinic. This work will emphasize the evaluation and management of minimally invasive surgical patients including:

  • Laparoscopic/robotic urologic oncology
  • Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate
  • Metabolic evaluation of stone disease patients
  • Medical management of stone disease patients
  • Evaluation and preparation of patients with upper and lower tract endourologic disease

Fellows typically participate in at least 150 endourologic procedures during each fellowship year, including more than:

  • 50 to 60 percutaneous renal procedures
  • 75 to 100 HoLEP procedures
  • 150 flexible or rigid ureteroscopy procedures
  • 100 laparoscopic and robotic urologic procedures

Fellows learn both robotic and laparoscopic techniques. We teach fellows how to perform percutaneous access to the kidney without radiologists, including:

  • Fluoroscopic percutaneous access
  • Ultrasound-guided percutaneous access
  • Endoscopic guided percutaneous access
  • Standard percutaneous nephrolithotomy
  • Mini-percutaneous nephrolithotomy

Our faculty also familiarizes fellows with many cutting-edge techniques, such as:

  • Advanced robotic partial nephrectomy
  • Retroperitoneal surgical approaches

Research Program

Opportunities for research projects are varied and include basic science and clinical research.

Faculty mentor fellows to publish their research manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and to present their research findings at meetings.

Ongoing multidisciplinary research is conducted through a variety of advanced collaborations, including partnerships throughout Vanderbilt University, such as:

  • Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering (VISE)
  • Labs from the University Departments of:
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Biomechanical Engineering
    • Chemical Engineering
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Nashville

Additional research opportunities are available in the areas of:

  • Outcomes and clinical research
  • Epidemiologic and bioinformatics projects
  • Quality improvement

Faculty welcomes fellows to assist with several ongoing projects supported by the National Institutes of Health with R01-level funding.

Fellows can also access resources aimed at the development of entrepreneurship and intellectual property knowledge.

Conferences and Workshops


Fellows work and learn in multiple Vanderbilt facilities, including:


Fellows meet the standard requirement for certification by the Endourologic Society. To receive certification, fellows must:

  • Submit a case list for review to the Endourologic Society
  • Submit an essay to the Annual Endourologic Essay Contest. This paper can be of a clinical nature, a review, or, perferably, a basic research project.

Once fellows satisfactorily complete the 2-year fellowship, a letter or endorsement from the fellowship director will be sent to the Endourologic Society in support of the fellowship certificate.