Endourology/Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Program

dr canales and dr donelan in the research lab

The University of Florida (UF) Urology Endourology/Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship is structured to provide a focused and balanced one-year experience in advanced clinical training and research. During the year, trainees will spend time on clinical rotations and will be directly involved in the management of patients with various urologic diseases and will be exposed to a broad spectrum of endourologic and minimally invasive surgical procedures including:

  • Endourology
    • PCNL, ureteroscopy, ESW
    • Metabolic stone evaluation
    • Mentors: Drs. Bird, Canales, DiBianco and Terry
  • Laparoscopy and Robotics
    • Prostatectomy, partial and radical nephrectomy, nephroureterectomy, cystectomy, pyeloplasty, adrenalectomy
    • Transperitoneal and retroperitoneal approaches
    • Da Vinci Xi and SP platforms
    • Mentors: Drs. Su and Terry
  • Advanced Imaging and Ablative Technologies
    • Anatomic Endoscopic Enucleation of the Prostate (AEEP), Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP)
    • Minimally Invasive Surgical Therapies (MIST)
    • Mentor: Dr. John Michael DiBianco

The clinical program is designed to provide the fellow with a practical knowledge of the most up-to-date methods of The clinical program is designed to provide the fellow with a practical knowledge of the most up-to-date methods of diagnosing and treating all types and stages of these urologic diseases. The fellowship faculty have significant experience in all aspects of endourology, laparoscopy, and robotic surgery, allowing for tailoring of the training experience based upon each individual fellow’s strengths and perceived areas of needed improvement.

doctor bird with multiple residents in an operating room preparing for a procedure.

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Rotation Schedule

The fellow will have the opportunity to rotate and operate with each of the fellowship faculty throughout the year based on a schedule tailored to maximize the fellow’s clinical experiences both in the operating room as well as clinic environment.

In general, the fellow will have 4 operative and 1 research day per week. However, this may vary according to research projects chosen, fellow-specific planning with the involved faculty, and clinical needs of the department.

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doctor su and doctor li in the operating room preparing for a procedure.  they are wearing scrubs and surrounded by OR equipment.

Teaching Responsibilities

The fellow will have an integral role in the Department of Urology and will serve as a junior faculty member including taking an equal share of faculty call responsibilities. The fellow will have incremental and independent surgical responsibility under the guidance of the fellowship directors.

The fellow will also participate in our departmental weekly teaching conferences. The fellow also has a formal role in the didactic curriculum of the residency program by giving lectures on genitourinary disease as it pertains to endourology and minimally invasive surgery. The fellow will give Urology Grand Rounds at some point during their fellowship year on a topic of their choice.

The program further encourages collaboration of the fellow with residents on design, conduct, presentation and publication of research projects in which they have the opportunity to assume a mentorship role.

The fellow will have exposure to unique training labs to enhance laparoscopic and robotic skills. He/she will run weekly robotic (dry lab) and simulation labs and conduct a bi-monthly laparoscopic (wet lab) training lab along with other faculty members in conjunction with urology residents.

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color photo of doctor Thomas F. Stringer and clinic team with adult male patient

Clinical Training

For endourology training, the fellow will gain experience in shockwave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy, and percutaneous nephrostolithotomy. Percutaneous access may be performed by Urology or in conjunction with the Division of Interventional Radiology and involve both antegrade and retrograde access approaches. The fellow will acquire a basic knowledge of the metabolic aspects of stone disease and its medical management of prevention through a multidisciplinary clinic alongside team members from the Division of Nephrology.

For laparoscopy/robotics training, the fellow will learn a variety of robotic and laparoscopic techniques including both conventional laparoscopy and robot-assisted laparoscopy for upper tract urologic surgery that includes adrenalectomy, pyeloplasty, partial nephrectomy, radical nephrectomy and nephroureterectomy. Training to perform robotic prostatectomy is multifaceted including didactic, video, simulation and step wise hands-on training on both the da Vinci Xi and SP robotic systems.

For ablation technologies, fellows have the unique opportunity to participate first hand in advance prostate imaging (UroNav and micro-ultrasound) for prostate cancer as well as focal therapy. Renal tumor ablation is primarily performed by the Division of Interventional Radiology for which fellows are encouraged to attend and observe.

Though it may vary from year to year, fellowship related procedures performed annually by the faculty include >175 percutaneous procedures, >300 ureteroscopic procedures, and >225 laparoscopic/robotic procedures.

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Dr. Su, Dr. Wardenburg and Dr. Stringer


An advanced understanding of the principles of clinical research is essential to an evidence-based practice of urology as well as the fellow’s efforts to advance the field through high quality and impactful discoveries. The fellow will gain further experience in this area by interacting at departmental research conferences and through interactions with individual mentors. The research experience will also provide the fellow with an ideal background for academic success.

Opportunities for clinical, translational and basic science research are available in the areas of endourology and mechanisms of stone disease, minimally invasive surgery, urologic oncology and new cutting-edge advanced imaging techniques for prostate cancer. During the year, fellows are expected to devise a research project under the guidance of fellowship faculty and carry their research to completion, culminating in their fellowship essay manuscript. This project should be of the quality to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Upon completion of the fellowship program, the trainee will be able to meet the standard requirements for certification by the Endourological Society for either endourology or robotics/laparoscopy or combined. The fellow will be expected to maintain an accurate and comprehensive operative log through the Endourological Society case log system and will review this with the program director on a routine basis.

Applicants must have completed an approved US residency training program in urology and must submit an application along with a current curriculum vitae and supply a minimum of three letters of recommendation.

To receive fellowship certification with the Endourological Society, the fellow must:

  1. Submit a manuscript to the Journal of Endourology essay contest (go to  https://www.endourology.org/fellowships/  for specific details).
  2. Minimum of three (3) publications in peer reviewed journals (go to  https://www.endourology.org/fellowships/  for specific details).
  3. Write and have accepted either an animal protocol or IRB clinical protocol; then proceed to complete this protocol or play the lead role in initiating and moving it forward toward completion.
  4. Submit a case log to the Endourological Society at www.endourology.org as well as all teaching conferences/courses you are presented during your fellowship (go to  https://www.endourology.org/fellowships/  for specific details).
  5. On satisfactory completion of the one year fellowship, the fellow will have a letter of endorsement from the director of the fellowship program sent to the Endourological Society in support of his fellowship certificate.
  6. Submit a listing of all publications, book chapters, videotapes that you produced during you fellowship year(s).

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Official Program Training Dates

The endourology/minimally invasive surgery fellowship program is a one-year program that will begin July 1 of each academic year and will end June 30.

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The clinical status of the fellow will be at a PGY6 level for the University of Florida.

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Application to the Program

If you are interested in applying for the Fellowship Program, please visit the Endourological Society’s website, www.endourology.org to download and complete the application. After completion, you should forward either a pdf or paper copy of the application, along with your curriculum vitae, to the University of Florida at the following address:

Vincent G. Bird, MD
University of Florida College of Medicine, Department of Urology
Endourology/Minimally Invasive Fellowship
1600 SW Archer Road/Box 100247
Gainesville, FL 32610-0247

PDF may be emailed to: kathleen.wolford@urology.ufl.edu

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Program Co-Directors (click hyperlink for faculty video introduction)

head shot of doctor Vincent G. Bird is a medical doctor. He is wearing his white lab coat with a white collared shirt and a gold tie. He is balding. The background of the photo is medium blue.

Vincent G. Bird, MD is Professor of Urology, Director of the Endourology, Chief of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, and Director of the Urology-Nephrology Multidisciplinary Stone Clinic. Dr. Bird is strongly committed to the UF endourology fellowship program, in particular, with regards to the provision of a structured training program of progressively increasing responsibilities in both endourological stone surgery and renal laparoscopy. He also oversees the fellow’s metabolic evaluation of stone disease in the clinic. He provides mentorship for clinical research and manages a number of clinical databases that are part of an active clinical research program.

head shot of doctor Benjamin K. Canales, a medical doctor. He is wearing his white lab coat with a pink collared shirt and a blue silver tie. He has dark hair. The background of the photo is medium blue.

Benjamin K. Canales, MD  is Associate Professor of Urology and Director of Research within the department. His practice is based at the Malcom Randall Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Canales is strongly committed to the UF endourology fellowship program, in particular, with regards to the provision of a structured training program of progressively increasing responsibilities in both endourological stone surgery and renal laparoscopy. He also maintains a basic science laboratory and conducts basic science research relating to the metabolic origins of urinary lithiasis.

doctor dibianco is wearing his white doctors coat with a light blue shirt and gray tie.

John Michael DiBianco is an Assistant Professor of Urology. He recently completed his Endourology fellowship at the University of Michigan. Dr. DiBianco manages a busy practice related to his clinical interests include minimally invasive surgery and specifically the management of kidney stone disease and symptomatic prostate enlargement. His research focus includes quality improvement, prostate cancer diagnosis, miniaturized PCNL and laser enucleation of the prostate, specifically HOLEP.

Photo of Doctor Li-Ming Su, a medical doctor. He is wearing his white doctors coat, white collared shirt and dark blue patterned tie. The background is a mix of dark and light blue color.

Li-Ming Su, MD is the David A. Cofrin Endowed Chair of Urologic Oncology
and Chairman, Department of Urology. He is strongly committed to the UF endourology fellowship program, in particular, with regards to the provision of a structured training program of progressively increasing responsibilities in robotics and minimal invasive surgery. He has a central role for the robotic assisted laparoscopic experience, with regards to prostate and renal surgery and also provides mentorship for clinical research.

Doctor terry is wearing a white doctors coat with a white collared shirt and red tie.

Russell S. Terry, MD is Assistant Professor of Urology. He manages a busy stone practice at UF which includes both the surgical and metabolic management of complex stone disease. He also maintains a practice at the Malcom Randall Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center which is focused on minimally invasive urologic oncology.

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uf cancer hospital

Hospital Overview

With campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville, the UF and Shands Hospital (UF Health) includes six health colleges, six research institutes, two teaching hospitals, two specialty hospitals and a host of physician medical practices and outpatient services throughout north central and northeast Florida. Our mission is to promote health through outstanding and high-quality patient care, innovative and rigorous education in the health professions and biomedical sciences, and high-impact research across the spectrum of basic, translational and clinical investigation.

Nearly 900 expert UF College of Medicine and community physicians along with more than 8,000 skilled Shands nursing and support staff provide comprehensive high quality patient care, from primary care and family medicine to subspecialty tertiary and quaternary services for patients with highly complex medical conditions. The faculty from the UF College of Medicine includes nationally and internationally recognized physicians whose expertise is supported by intensive research activities. Shands’ affiliation with the UF Health Science Center (HSC) allows patients to benefit from the latest medical knowledge and technology.

Fourteen medical specialty programs at UF Health are nationally ranked, and five are recognized among the nation’s best in the 2020-2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals ranking, including the urology program. The UF Department of Urology offers advanced care in all aspects of both pediatric and adult urology.

The HSC is the country’s only academic health center with six health-related colleges located on a single, contiguous campus. The HSC is also a world leader in interdisciplinary research, generating 52% of UF’s total research awards.

Our vision as a preeminent academic health center is to optimize our collective expertise to improve patient care, education, discovery and the health of the community. Our success is predicated on research-based, multidisciplinary, cross-college programs. The colleges teach the full continuum of higher education from undergraduates to professional students to advanced post-doctoral students.

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Florida’s Leading Academic Urology Program

Rated as High Performing Urology Program

Rated as High Performing in Prostate Cancer Surgery