Medical Students

VUSM Medical Students

The education of medical students is a high priority within the Department of Urology. Vanderbilt University School of Medicine students have the opportunity to 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 prior to applying to residency programs.

At any given time, up to three second or 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, fellows, and residents in adult and pediatric urology.

Urology Sub-Internship

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 patients in the field of Urologic Surgery. You will function as a member of the team at a supervised level during the sub-internship. You will be involved in patient management and communication with other healthcare providers while rotating through Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Veterans Affairs Hospital, and Monroe Carell Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Daily activities include, though are not limited to:

  • 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
  • Assisting with the triage of consults for the inpatient service
  • Spending time in the outpatient clinics
  • Participating in select weekend rounds

By the end of the rotation you will be expected to develop a 5-minute PowerPoint presentation that will be presented to the Department of Urology during the last week of your rotation.

Your presentation should:

  • Come from an interesting situation you encounter on service
  • Be case-based
  • Include the basic pathophysiology and treatment options
  • Provide evidence from the literature for your recommendations

Subspecialty Rotations and Electives

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

Introduction to Urology

Second and Third-Year Vanderbilt School of Medicine students can participate in Urology as a two-week subspecialty elective as an introduction into the field of urology. 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 Subspecialty Elective Rotation

After successful completion of the Urology ACE, students interested in continuing their urology education 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 Subspecialty Elective Rotation

After successful completion of the Urology ACE, students interested in continuing their urology education can choose to spend a month on focusing on Reconstructive 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

Urologic Oncology Subspecialty Elective Rotation

After successful completion of the Urology ACE, students interested in continuing their urology education can choose to spend a month on focusing on Urologic Oncology.

Students can participate in:

  • Surgical intervention for a wide array of genitourinary cancers
  • Seeing patients in the clinic
  • Evaluating consults
  • Conferences
  • Daily morning rounds
  • Research

Endourology and Minimally Invasive Surgery Subspecialty Elective Rotation

After successful completion of the Urology ACE, students interested in continuing their urology education can choose to spend a month on focusing on Endourology, Stones, and MIS (robotic and laparoscopic surgery).

  • Inpatient and outpatient consultations
  • Entering orders
  • Writing daily progress notes
  • Presenting patients on daily work rounds
  • Participating in surgical procedures related female pelvic medicine and reconstructive urology
  • Coordinating discharge planning

Requirements

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

Locations

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:

  • Urologymatch.com. 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.

Visiting Medical Students

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 visitingmed@vanderbilt.edu.

COVID-19 Update

As recommended by the AAMC, no visiting medical students will be accepted for the 2020-2021 Academic Year.

We will be hosting multiple Zoom Town Hall events throughout the summer and fall to help answer questions students may have regarding our urology residency program.  A virtual Medical Education Series for medical students interested in urology is also available on Thursday evenings, with lectures given by Vanderbilt faculty. Please see our Department of Urology COVID match season Webpage for dates, times, and registration of these events.