Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the urology specialty at KU Medical Center.
About Urology at KU Medical Center
Urology is the perfect blend of clinical medicine and surgical care. Learn more about our program by reading the answers to our most frequently received questions.
How long is the residency?
Five years of training.
How competitive is the Urology Match?
Very competitive. High Step 2 scores, extensive research experience, and great letters of recommendation are required. For more information and statistics, visit the AUA Urology Residency Match Statistics (scroll to the bottom of the page).
Should I take Step 2 boards?
Yes. An excellent Step 2 prior to ERAS application release may improve your chances.
How important is the AOA status?
AOA status gives program directors an idea of your class rank and academic performance and is highly valued.
How important is research?
Demonstrating participation in research projects by presenting and publishing abstracts and manuscripts are a very important part of the urology residency application.
Should I do a Urology fourth-year elective?
Yes. Anyone interested in Urology as a career should rotate on the urology service early in their fourth year.
Should I do an “away” rotation?
Yes. Doing externships is very important. They give you an opportunity to see what life is like outside of KU Medical Center while also allowing you to demonstrate your knowledge, work ethic and personality to another urology department. This may help you during the interview process and may help generate additional letters of recommendation. Again, earlier in the year is usually better, but we would recommend completing your KU Medical Center rotation first.
How many programs should I apply to?
This will vary from applicant to applicant depending on the goals of the applicant as well as how competitive an applicant is.
What is the resident lifestyle like?
Surgical specialty residencies are intense learning experiences requiring the ability to balance, multitask and perform under pressure.
How often do residents take call?
This varies among programs, but no one takes call more frequently than every third night. At KU Medical Center, our residents average five to six call nights per month and this is considered “home call.”
Do I need to meet with the KU Medical Center Urology Program Director?
We recommend you meet with the Urology Program Director, Casey Kowalik MD., Associate Program Director, Danica May, M.D., or another Urology faculty member. We can help you determine your application strengths and weaknesses as well as answer questions about our field and the application process. Our residents are also very approachable and willing to discuss urology as a career path.
What are the guidelines used by KU Medical Center to evaluate an applicant's candidacy?
The overall objective of our educational program is to help you become a complete board-certified urologist. That is, a surgeon who can combine superior surgical skills with sound clinical judgment, compassion and professionalism. All of this must be based upon a core of clinical and basic science knowledge that incorporates the full depth and breadth of our growing field. The resident’s five-year rotation schedule, the weekly conferences, the exposure to research, the administration of the in-service examination and the exposure to current concepts of urologic care through attendance at national meetings are all designed to help residents meet the requirements of the American Board of Urology.
To be considered for our competitive residency program, an applicant must provide a record of the following:
- Letters of recommendation from urology physicians
- USMLE Step 1 score of Pass
- USMLE Step 2 (Clinical Knowledge) score => 235
- Grades, especially urology and surgery clerkships
- AOA / Academic performance / Class rank
- Research productivity
- Honors and awards
- Dean’s letter of recommendation
- Community service
- Extracurricular activities