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 one year experience in 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 that include stone disease, urinary tract obstruction, and urologic cancer under the guidance of Drs. Vincent BirdBenjamin CanalesRussell Terry and Li-Ming Su.

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. Trainees will be exposed to a broad spectrum of endourologic and minimally invasive surgical procedures including; percutaneous nephrostolithotomy, ureteroscopy, extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy, laparoscopic/robotic-assisted kidney, prostate, & bladder surgery, and thermal ablation.

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Rotation Schedule

While on a particular service, the fellow will operate with the attendings assigned to that service and also evaluate patients in the corresponding faculty outpatient clinics. The fellow will also participate in our departmental weekly conferences. Typically the fellow will have 3 operative and 1 clinic days per week, in addition to research time. However this may vary according to research projects chosen and fellow-specific planning with the involved faculty

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Teaching Responsibilities

The fellow will have an integral role in the Department of Urology. The fellow will have incremental surgical responsibility and will be responsible for progressively increased operative care of individual cases. The fellow also has a formal role in the didactic curriculum of the residency program by giving a lecture on genitourinary disease as it pertains to endourology and minimally invasive surgery, and the preparation of teaching conferences for residents and staff. The fellow will participate in teaching residents and medical students in the evaluation and management of endourologic and laparoscopic urology patients. In addition, he/she will give Urology Grand Rounds at some point during their fellowship year on a timely topic. 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 mentorship roles.

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 bimonthly laparoscopic (wet lab) training lab in conjunction with urology residents.

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Dr. Stringer, Mitsu Andre and Dr. Dennis

Clinical Training

For endourology fellowship 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 Department of Radiology. The fellow will acquire a basic knowledge of the metabolic aspects of stone disease and its medical management and prevention.

For laparoscopy/robotics the fellow will learn a variety of robotic and laparoscopic techniques including both conventional laparoscopic and robot-assisted laparoscopic techniques for renal surgery that include pyeloplasty, partial nephrectomy, and nephrectomy. Robot-assisted laparoscopic reconstructive procedures are also performed. Fellows are expected to become facile at laparoscopic suturing and reconstructive procedures. Fellows will also take part in the performance of robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy in a step-wise fashion. Robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy and partial nephrectomy is performed on a routine basis by Dr. Su.

Fellowship related procedures performed annually by the faculty include > 175 percutaneous procedures, > 300 ureteroscopic procedures, 50 shock wave lithotripsies, and > 225 laparoscopic/robotic procedures. 

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Dr. Su, Dr. Wardenburg and Dr. Stringer

Clinical Research

An advanced understanding of the principles of clinical research is essential to an evidence-based practice of urology as well as fellow’s efforts to advance the field through high quality research. The fellow will gain further experience in this area by interaction at research based departmental conferences and interactions with individual mentors. The research experience will also provide thefellow with an ideal background for academic success. Opportunities for both clinical and basic science research are available. Fellows are expected to publish manuscripts and to make academic contributions. Research opportunities include basic science research for mechanisms of stone disease, clinical research for both endourology and minimally invasive surgery for urinary tract obstruction and urologic oncology, and new cutting edge advanced imaging techniques.

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. The fellow will be expected to maintain an accurate and comprehensive operative log and will review this with the program director on a routine basis.

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).

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

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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 a paper copy of the application, along with your curriculum vitae, to the Society (their address can be found on their website), as well as to the University of Florida at the following address:

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

In addition to the completed application, we also require three letters of recommendation, which may be mailed under separate cover, AND a recent passport-size photo.

All questions and or comments should be emailed to Kathleen.Wolford@urology.ufl.edu.

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Program Faculty

Vincent Bird_MCM_5288 Vincent G. Bird, MD is a Professor of Urology, Director of the Endourology Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship, and a member of the division of minimally invasive surgery. 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 will oversee 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.

Canales 4-7-16 (2)Benjamin K. Canales, MD is an Associate Professor of Urology and a member of the division of minimally invasive surgery. 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.

Li-Ming Su_MCM_5433_editLi-Ming Su, MD is the David A. Cofrin Professor and Chairman of the Department of Urology. Dr. Su 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, in particular with regards to prostate and renal surgery and also provides mentorship for clinical research. He is also director of the laparoscopic skills live surgery lab.

Professional photo of doctor russell terry.  he is wearing a dark suit with a white collared shirt and red tie.

Russell S. Terry, MD is Assistant Professor of Urology and Director of MIS Education and New Technologies. 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 VA Medical Center which is focused on minimally invasive urologic oncology.

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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.

The full spectrum of patient-care services are provided through Shands, which is UF’s private, not-for-profit affiliate. The Shands family of hospitals and programs includes two teaching hospitals as well as two specialty hospitals. Shands offers a network of outpatient rehabilitation centers and two home-health agencies – UF Health Shands HomeCare and UF Health Shands Rehab Centers. UF Health also offers more than 80 UF physician outpatient practices located throughout north central and northeast Florida.

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.

The HSC is the country’s only academic health center with six health-related colleges located on a single, contiguous campus. Our colleges, major research centers and institutes and clinical enterprise focus on building collaborative specialized clinical services centered on quality and innovation. The HSC is also a world leader in interdisciplinary research, generating 52% of UF’s total research awards. Five major health-related research centers and institutes are designed to create synergies and collaborative research opportunities. Research activities at the HSC reflect a depth of purpose by focusing on the translational nature of biomedical research, following the continuum from fundamental research to clinical research to patient care. The HSC includes two primary campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville as well as numerous educational, clinical and research affiliates across the state.

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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Ranked as the #17 urology program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report