uOttawa Urology Residency Training Program
At uOttawa Urology we pride ourselves on offering exceptional surgical training within a collegial and supportive learning environment. We value our “family atmosphere” and strong working relationships between residents and faculty, and believe that these promote both effective teaching and learning as well resident wellness. This philosophy, along with our high clinical and surgical volumes, research opportunities, and comprehensive academic teaching schedule, has allowed many generations of uOttawa Urology graduates to be successful and productive members of the urologic community.
The uOttawa Urology residency program is fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). The curriculum is based around the Competence by Design framework developed through the RCPSC, and we continue to structure the training around a 5-year schedule through a variety of clinical rotations. We utilize the online Elentra platform for residents to track their assessments and progress, and have an active Competence Committee that provides regular feedback to residents as well. Our training program also allows our graduates to qualify for certification with the American Board of Urology (as of 2020).
In the first 2 years of training our residents rotate through both urology and relevant off-service rotations (see rotation schedule below).
The first 2 blocks of PGY-1 are spent on adult urology, and this allows for new residents to become oriented and acclimatized to their new role and environment and participate in our PGY-1 Urology Bootcamp. The remainder of the year is split between urology (3 more blocks adult, 2 blocks pediatric) and off-service rotations required by the RCPSC and the Surgical Foundations program. Similarly, in PGY-2, residents spend 7 blocks on urology (including 1 block of community urology elective), and a total of 6 blocks on ICU, general surgery, and vascular surgery.
The PGY 3-5 years are spent rotating through 4 adult urology services (oncology, MIS/transplant, Men’s Health, and Reconstructive urology) at the Civic and General Campuses of The Ottawa Hospital, and 3 blocks of pediatric urology are completed at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. The surgical volume in Ottawa is very high, and residents gain extensive exposure to all the subspecialty areas of urology in addition to ample training in “general urology”. Special clinical programs include robotics, shock wave lithotripsy, male infertility, female urology, and renal transplantation including a living-related donor pogram. By the end of residency, graduates have all of the knowledge and skills required to become competent urologists.
We provide elective opportunities in both PGY-2 (1 block community urology) and PGY-4 (3 blocks of urology). These electives provide an opportunity for residents to gain some experience and exposure to urologic practice outside of the University of Ottawa training sites, and this can help with career planning, networking, and skill development.
Our academic teaching schedule is comprehensive and robust, and includes faculty-led lectures, weekly morning rounds, practice examinations, and surgical skills training (see academic schedule below). We offer 8 simulation sessions each year the uOttawa Skills and Simulation Centre that are focused on PGY-specific skills; these sessions are run by faculty mentors with a low ratio of learners to teachers.
Other special experiences that are offered include a monthly Journal Club where faculty and residents review current articles in an evening “dinner” session, and a 1 week rotation in Iqualuit, NU, that allows for exposure to urologic patients in a remote northern environment.
Our residents all participate in research, and tailor their experience to their individual interests and goals. We have several faculty members who are highly active and productive in research both nationally and internationally, and they serve as excellent mentors for resident research. Residents receive support to present their work at Canadian and international conferences, and have the opportunity to participate in the uOttawa Urology and Department of Surgery research days.
Fellowship programs exist in Urologic Oncology, Renal Transplantation, Pediatric Urology, and Reconstructive Urology. Our fellows are carefully selected to ensure that they will contribute positively to the educational experience of our residents.
Graduates from uOttawa Urology have taken a variety of paths, with some entering directly into community practice, some completing fellowships prior to entering community practice (to serve as a local “expert”), and some pursuing academic careers. Our residents obtain top-level fellowships both in Canada and the United States, and our faculty have built relationships with many of these centres in order to advise and assist trainees in obtaining the fellowship spot they want.