A new study ranks Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine among the top feeder medical schools in the United States for the specialty of urology.
“Characteristics of US Medical Schools Associated with Successful Matches to Urology Residency Programs: Analysis of the 2016-2021 Urology Resident Cohort,” was published online and is forthcoming. Urology.
The study is what the authors call the first of its kind — neither affiliated with OUWB nor Corewell Health (the new name for Beaumont Health).
Basically, in light of the highly competitive field, the study sought to determine the characteristics of US medical schools associated with successful urology match applicants.
The survey also ranked 177 medical schools based on the total number and percentage of graduates matriculating in urology in 2016-21. OUWB is ranked 15thm, with 16 graduates. In comparison, schools that finished above OUWB had a few more matches, and included Boston University (24 graduates), University of Michigan Medical School (22), and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (19).
Ken Peters, MD, a urologist at Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital and chair of the Department of Urology at OUWB, said, “I was very pleased and surprised when I saw such a high percentage of our students choose urology.
“I think that speaks to all the people who have put effort into the department of urology from both an educational and research standpoint,” he added.
Findings are ‘important and useful’
The study was based on publicly available data that allowed pooling of demographics and bibliography for 1,814 current urology residents who attended a US-based Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited program. The period examined was 2016-21.
In summary, the authors note that studying which schools have the most success is important, especially given the competitive nature of urology. Thirty-four percent of all urology applicants across the US were undiagnosed in 2022. (Since its inception, OUWB has maintained a 100% match rate for medical students specializing in urology.)
“Our research findings are important and beneficial to all parties involved in the match process,” the study says. “Students interested in urology can use this study to better inform themselves when applying and choosing which medical school to attend.”
The overall conclusion was that the presence of a home urology program was the single most important factor in predicting the percentage of urology residents from graduating class.
Further, the study states that “program directors and faculty may also find that some form of early exposure to urology, whether through affiliated hospitals or urology interest groups, may be beneficial in recruiting more students and focusing medical student education.”
Peters says he believes that’s exactly why the OUWB ranked so high on the list.
‘Urology is the best specialty’
In general, Peters said he is proud of the field of urology and what it can do for patients.
There are long-term patients who are seen regularly for PSA, stones and/or infections. Also, there are patients who need surgery. Regardless of why they need a urologist, Peters says a common thread exists.
“These are life-changing things that we do for patients,” he said. “If they’re going over a stone, we treat it and they’re thrilled. If they peed, we fixed it and they were thrilled. If they have prostate cancer, we cure them and they are thrilled.”
Peters said the team also aims to be the first — and only — stop for patients who need a urologist.
“I always teach students that they don’t want to be the third, fourth or fifth urologist that sees a patient,” he says. “They want to be first. Doctors who are well trained, think things through… and really help patients.”
The ability to provide these services and maintain such a high level of care remains in the hands of future urologists, Peters said, which is why he and others in his department place so much emphasis on working with medical students.
“The more quality urologists we can get into our communities and train for the future, the better,” he said.
This means high levels of training using the latest and greatest technology (Peters points to the use of robotics in surgery as an example.)
It also means having fun.
“We always tease students…telling them that urology is the best specialty and we don’t know why they would look at anything else,” Peters said with a laugh.
“But they work with us and see how we interact with patients, how we make such a positive impact on patients’ lives, how much their quality of life has changed,” he said.
“Medical students understand that quickly, and I think many know in their hearts that it would be a good thing to do.”
‘a great reputation’
When the study came out, several OUWB alumni and faculty took to Twitter and posted comments consistent with what Peters said about the program.
“I think (OUWB’s) exposure of our students to urology and (the Beaumont Urology Residency) being such a positive education department played such a big role in why our school is at the top of this list,” said S. Mohammad Jaffrey, MD, urologist and Assistant Dean, Career Advising Programming and Student Advising, OUWB.
Kwesi Asantey, MD, ’22, OUWB, and Patrick Vecellio, MD, ’20, OUWB, basically said they couldn’t agree more.
Liz Olive, MD, ’20, OUWB, said she “(loved) seeing OUWB make the list” and credited strong mentoring and support for applicants.
“Our urologists have done some great preclinical educational work and have a great reputation as a popular two-week elective within the core surgery rotation,” he wrote.
Karis Buford, MD, ’17, OUWB, agrees with Olive.
“Great mentors and early exposure led me to a field I would never have considered otherwise,” he said.
Looking ahead, Peters said he’s excited, especially since the division “has gotten better every year.”
He is also encouraged by the recent merger between Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health that resulted in the creation of Corewell Health, which includes Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital (formerly Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak).
He said, “Being a university hospital…there is a lot of excitement in our department. “The changes we’re seeing feel very positive and align well with who we are and what we do.”
For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, Marketing Writer, OUWB, at [email protected]
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