A new study ranks Oakland University’s William Beaumont School of Medicine among the best medical schools in the U.S. for the specialty of urology.
“Characteristics of United States Medical Schools Associated with Successful Match to Urology Residency Programs: An Analysis of the 2016-2021 Urology Residency Cohort,” is published online and is due to be published in Urology.
The authors call the study the first of its kind — none of which are affiliated with OUVB or Corewell Health (the new name for Beaumont Health).
Essentially, in light of a highly competitive field, the study sought to determine the characteristics of US medical schools associated with successful urology applicants.
The study also ranked 177 medical schools based on the total number and percentage of graduates matched in urology during 2016-21. OUVB is ranked 15thth, with 16 graduates. By comparison, schools that finished above OUVB had just a few more games and included Boston University (24 graduates), University of Michigan Medical School (22) and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (19).
“I was very happy and surprised to see that we have such a high percentage of students choosing urology,” said Ken Peters, MD, a urologist at Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital and chairman of the OUVB Department of Urology.
“I think that speaks volumes for all the people who have worked hard in the Department of Urology, both from an educational and research standpoint,” he added.
Findings ‘important and useful’
The study was based on publicly available data that allowed the aggregation of demographic and bibliometric data for 1,814 current urologists attending a US-based Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited program. The examined time period is 2016-21.
In summary, the authors noted that it is important to study which schools have the most success, especially given the competitive nature of urology. Thirty-four percent of all urology applicants across the US were matched in 2022. (Since its launch, OUVB has maintained a 100% match rate for medical students specializing in urology.)
“The findings of our study are important and useful for all parties involved in the matchmaking process,” the study said. “Students interested in urology can use this study to be more informed when applying and choosing which medical school to attend.”
The overall conclusion is that the presence of a urology program at home was the single most significant factor in predicting the percentage of urologists from the graduating class.
Further, the study states that “program directors and faculty may also see that some form of early exposure to urology, whether through an affiliated hospital or urology interest group, may be beneficial in recruiting more students and may become a focus of medical student education.”
Peters said he believes that’s why OUVB is ranked so high on the list.
“Urology is the best specialty”
Overall, Peters says he is proud of the field of urology and all it can do for patients.
There are long-term patients who are regularly screened for elevated PSA, stones and/or infections. Also, there are patients who need surgery. Regardless of why they need a urologist, Peters said there is a common thread.
“These are life-changing things that we do for patients,” he said. “If they pass a stone, we treat it and they are delighted.” If their urine leaks, we fix it and they are delighted. If they have prostate cancer, we cure them and they are delighted.”
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 a patient sees,” he says. “They want to be first.” Doctors who are well trained, think things through…and really help patients.”
The ability to continue providing these services and maintaining such a high level of care rests in the hands of future urologists, Peters said, which is why he and others in his department place such importance on working with medical students.
“The more quality urologists we can get into our practices and train them for the future, the better,” he said.
That means a high level of training while using the latest and greatest technologies (Peters points to the use of robotics in surgery as an example.)
It also means having fun.
“We’re always teasing students … telling them that urology is the best major and we don’t know why they would look at anything else,” Peters said with a smile.
“But then they work with us and see how we interact with patients, how we have such a positive impact on patients’ lives, how much their quality of life has changed,” he said.
“Med students pick up on that quickly, and I think many know in their hearts that it would be good.”
When the study came out, several OUVB alumni and faculty took to Twitter and posted comments consistent with what Peters said about the program.
“I think the combination of (OUVB) exposing our students to urology and (Beaumont Urology Residency) having such a positive learning department played such a big role in why our school is so high on this list,” said S. Mohammad Jafri, MD, Urologist and Associate Dean, Career Counseling Programming and Student Counseling, OUVB.
Kwesi Asantei, MD, ’22, OUVB, and Patrick Vecellio, MD, ’20, OUVB, basically said they couldn’t agree more.
Liz Olive, MD, ’20, OUVB, said she “(loves) seeing OUVB make the list” and credited the strong mentoring and support of candidates.
“Our urologists have done great preclinical didactics and have a great reputation as a popular two-week elective in the basic surgery rotation,” she wrote.
Karis Buford, MD, ’17, OUVB, agreed with Olive.
“Great mentorship and early exposure led me to fields I would never have considered otherwise,” she said.
Looking ahead, Peters said he’s excited, especially since the department has “just gotten better every year.”
He is also encouraged by the recent merger between Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health that led to the creation of Corewell Health, which includes Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital (formerly Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak).
“Being a university hospital … there’s a lot of excitement in our department,” he said. “These changes we’re seeing are very positive and align well with who we are and what we do.”
For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, Marketing Writer, OUVB, at [email protected]
To request an interview, visit the OUVB Communications & Marketing website.
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