Frequently asked Questions by MS1s and MS2s
Exposure to the field and creating positive relationships with urologists are essential. Doing an elective in Urology, shadowing urologists, reviewing the American Urological Association and the Society of Academic Urologists websites, and participating in a Urology Interest Group all are extremely valuable.
As Urology is a highly competitive specialty, doing research should be considered essential to match into a urological residency. Clinical series, bench research, technical innovations, and case reports all will be helpful for the candidate’s submission. Journal publications, as well as national society posters and oral presentations will contribute greatly.
Research opportunities can be accessed through urologists who are affiliated with our medical school, as well as other medical schools. In addition, the Scholarly Project office may have ideas and a list of urologists who would like medical students to be involved with their research.
Both volunteering and extracurricular activities, such as student government and clubs, have many benefits, but the Step I score and block and clerkship grades are most important. Being involved in a Urology Interest Group, potentially as a leader, is beneficial.
Recent NRMP data suggest that a Step I score for Urology candidates should be 240 or higher. Step II scores should be 245-250 or higher. Successful Urology-matched students typically rank in the top 25% of their class for those schools that provide rankings.
Frequently asked Questions by MS3s and MS4s
Letters of recommendation should be sought no later than May through August of the application year. Earlier letters from clerkship and block directors may be requested soon after completing those rotations, as the student’s work will be fresh in the letter writer’s mind. Urology is an early match (January), thus letters must be requested earlier than for most other specialties.
Recommendations are for two letters from urologists, thus letters from faculty members of other specialties should be sought as well. The latter letters may be from a research mentor, a surgical faculty member, or from a core Sub I director with whom the applicant has excelled.
No, but if the Chairman does know the applicant well, this letter can be highly desirable. Similarly, letters from renowned urologists are also highly beneficial.
If the applicant has a particular program in mind, then doing an away and excelling in that away rotation are essential. More than one away rotation to programs that the applicant plans to apply to, are recommended as well.
Program Information Specific to Urology:
Urology is a highly competitive specialty. The field and the residency match are overseen predominantly by the American Urologic Association (auanet.org). The Match for Urology is early—rank order lists are due in early January, and the Match itself occurs in mid-January. The Urology residency is comprised of 5 or 6 years, depending on the program. Numerous fellowships are available for urologic subspecialties.
Factors that are especially important for medical student candidates to match into Urology include: Step 1 and 2 scores (240 is an informal filter), research publications and presentations, clinical clerkship honors especially in Surgery, honors and awards, and AOA distinction. ERAS application is advised, although applicants need to check with individual programs, as there is variability. There are approximately 137 Urology programs in the US, with 339 positions, and over 90% of US senior graduates do match successfully.