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What is Urology?

A urologist is a physician who specializes in surgery of the urinary tract and the male reproductive system. This can include diseases affecting the bladder, urethra, ureters, kidneys and adrenal glands, along with the epididymis, penis, prostate, seminal vesicles and testes. Some examples of the diseases and subspecialties that our specialty addresses include: benign prostatic hyperplasia, kidney stones, endourology (including laparoscopy and robotic surgery), erectile dysfunction, female urology and pelvic medicine, female sexual dysfunction, incontinence, male reproductive medicine and surgery, neurogenic bladder dysfunction, neuro-urology and urodynamics, prostate disease and urologic oncology (cancer of kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate, urethra, testicles, adrenal glands).

Urologists spend time both in the operating room as well as clinic. They can treat pediatric patients all the way up to geriatric patients. Urologists can perform endoscopy and laparoscopy, and they were some of the pioneers of robotic surgery. Additionally, urologists perform many office-based procedures. 

If you wish to pursue subspeciality training in urology, many fellowships are available, including endourology, urologic oncology, pediatric urology, male infertility/andrology, reconstructive urology and female urology/urodynamics.

Medical Student Training Opportunities

M1 and M2 Experiences

First- and second-year medical students at the University of Kansas School of Medicine can participate in SER week.

M3 Experiences

Third-year medical students at KU School of Medicine can rotate on urology as part of general surgery or during their OB-GYN rotation on a rotation called Reproductive Health and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstruction in Urology.

M4 Experiences

Fourth-year medical students at KU School of Medicine can complete a Sub-I rotation or may choose a two- or four-week elective.

Visiting fourth-year medical students can apply for a four-week week Sub-I rotation. Read more about visiting medical student requirements and applications.

Previous Student Perspective

Emily Johnson portrait

Emily Johnson

I'm originally from the KC metro area, went to undergrad at K-State, and now medical school at KU. I found an interest in urology after casually shadowing an OR earlier in med school. I immediately noticed how everybody in the room actually seemed happy to be at work together. From the surgeon to the circulator to the anesthesia crew hiding behind their curtain, everyone was joking with one another. This remained true during my third- and fourth- year rotations on urology. The residents, fellows and staff all hold each other in high regard. They're known as the department who will graciously take a consult, and they will absolutely make you laugh until you cry. The greatest lesson I learned from one of the residents is that the function of the heart is to pump blood to the pelvic organs.

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Previous Student Perspective

Jackson Knappen portraitJackson Knappen

I’m originally from Overland Park, Kansas. My interest in urology was sparked by the role it plays in the field of transgender medicine, offering gender-affirming surgeries. As I explored the field more, I found I also loved urologic oncology and reconstructive urology. I was fortunate that KU was my home institution and had the opportunity to complete my Sub-I there. The large team of urologic oncologists were incredible to work with and explained cancer treatment in a way that challenged me to develop my clinical reasoning skills. I remember during one procedure, Dr. Mirza was quizzing me on kidney cancer workup. At one point when I was fishing for an answer, he told me, “You know this, trust yourself.” This kind of encouraging teaching style is something that permeates the entire department and creates an environment that challenges you to improve but is comfortable to learn in. I learned so much during my month with KU Urology and can’t imagine how much more I would learn completing the residency program.

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School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Urology
Mail Stop 3016
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-6146