Education: Medical Students

Medical Students

Before applying for a residency, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine students can participate in urology sub-internships and electives to learn about the specialty, broaden their medical education, and determine if urology is an area of interest.

At any given time, up to three third-year medical students are rotating in urology and two fourth-year students are completing urology electives. In addition, up to five visiting students per month complete four-week rotations from July through October. Students learn from and work alongside our nationally recognized faculty and residents in adult and pediatric urology.

The number of students who apply for our urology service experiences confirms our program's popularity.


The Advanced Clinical Experience (ACE) course (Urology, SURG 5640) is a sub-internship for medical students early in their fourth year. When you complete this month-long program, you optimize your training, faculty exposure, and experience before a Urology residency match.

ACE Program Overview

The ACE encompasses the comprehensive care of surgery patients admitted to the Urology service. You function as a member of the team at a supervised level for patient management and communication with other healthcare providers while rotating through Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the VA Hospital, and Monroe Carell Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

This includes:

  • Preparing patients' admission history and physical examination
  • Entering orders
  • Writing daily progress notes
  • Presenting patients on daily work rounds
  • Participating in surgical procedures
  • Coordinating discharge planning

You also get the opportunity for outpatient experiences in all of our urology sub-specialty clinics.

ACE students:

  • Participate in select weekend rounds
  • Assist with the triage of consults for the inpatient service
  • Develop a 5-minute PowerPoint presentation

Your presentation should:

  • Come from an interesting situation you encounter on service
  • Be case-based
  • Include the basic pathophysiology and treatment options
  • Be presented to the Department of Urology during the last week of your rotation


Multiple opportunities exist for interested medical students to explore urology subspecialties through rotations in surgery, research, surgical simulation, and reconstructive and pediatric urology.

Surgery Clerkship

Vanderbilt School of Medicine students can participate in Urology as a two-week subspecialty elective during their second-year surgery clerkship. This rotation lets you gain:

  • Fundamental urology knowledge
  • Useful surgical skills for any career choice

You will:

  • Assist in the operating room
  • Work in the clinic
  • Evaluate consults
  • Participate in conferences
  • Make daily morning rounds

Research Immersion

Students can formally participate in a research rotation with a Department of Urology faculty member mentor. We also encourage and support medical student research initiatives outside of structured electives.

Research project focus areas include:

  • Urologic Oncology
  • Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Pediatric Urology
  • Endourology and Nephrolithiasis
  • Male Reconstruction
  • Health Outcomes
  • Disparities in Healthcare

Pediatric Urology Immersion

Students interested in urology can choose to spend a month on the Pediatric Urology service working with faculty at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Students can participate in:

  • Surgical problems
  • Seeing patients in the clinic
  • Evaluating consults
  • Conferences
  • Daily morning rounds
  • Research

Reconstructive Urology Elective Rotation

A two-week elective in Reconstructive Urology assists students who:

  • Want to explore urology after their clerkship (to guide career decisions)
  • Want more in-depth exposure to the Department of Urology

This elective provides exposure to several high-volume practices focusing on:

  • Management of female and male voiding dysfunction and incontinence
  • Pelvic cancer survivorship
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Neurourology
  • Transitional care for congenital conditions
  • Urologic prosthetics
  • Reconstructive surgery for urethral stricture, fistula, and trauma


Medical students who take part in our subspecialty internship, electives, and rotations are expected to:

  • See patients on daily rounds
  • Join the inpatient team on mourning rounds
  • Help manage inpatients
  • See patients in the Urology Clinic
  • See patients in consultation
  • Evaluate consults
  • Assist in the operating room during surgical procedures
  • Take part in resident interviews
  • Make presentations


When you take part in a subspecialty internship, elective, or rotation, you get the chance to work throughout the Vanderbilt University Medical Center campus. Locations you may work include:

Tips for Success

To learn more about urology, talk with your sponsoring faculty member or clerkship coordinator.

You can also check out these resources recommended by our faculty:

  • Get advice about the Urology sub-internship, a reading list, and information about a urology residency.
  • American Urological Association (AUA). Medical students can access free online resources and a core urology curriculum. Included are relevant didactics, career advice, webinars, applications for summer fellowships, as well as high-yield videos on performing male and female Urology-focused exams.

How to Apply

Please contact the following people and offices to apply for one of our medical student urology programs.


Each summer and fall Vanderbilt hosts students from outside institutions who want to complete a month-long rotation in urology or pediatric urology. The program mirrors the Urology Sub-Internship or ACE program.

All visiting rotations are arranged through the Office of the Registrar and Student Records.

How Visiting Rotations Work

If you are interested in completing a rotation or clerkship in Urology or Pediatric Urology, please read our Visiting Student Webpage for information on this program.

We traditionally have 5 students during each month from July to October before the early match interview season.

Our application process is managed through the Visiting Student Office and utilizes the national Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) website.

The online application typically opens in mid-March. We extend invitations to accepted students by May.

For questions regarding the process for visiting students, please contact