Endourology/Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Program

dr canales and dr donelan in the research lab

The University of Florida (UF) Urology Combined Endourology & Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship is structured to provide a comprehensive 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
    • Advanced semirigid and flexible ureteroscopy, holmium and thulium fiber laser technology
    • PCNL: fluoroscopic antegrade and retrograde as well as ultrasound, and endoscopic-guided access techniques, prone and supine position, mini-PCNL
    • ESWL
    • Mentors: Drs. Bird, Canales, DiBianco and Terry
  • Laparoscopy and Robotics
    • Radical and simple prostatectomy, partial and radical nephrectomy, nephroureterectomy, partial and radical cystectomy, pyeloplasty, adrenalectomy, reconstructive surgery
    • Transperitoneal and retroperitoneal approaches
    • da Vinci Xi and SP platforms
    • Outpatient robotic surgery
    • Mentors: Drs. Benidir, Canales, Joseph, Su and Terry
  • Advanced Benign and Prostatic Hypertrophy Management
    • Anatomic Endoscopic Enucleation of the Prostate (AEEP)
    • Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP)
    • Minimally Invasive Surgical Therapies (MIST)
    • Mentor: Dr. DiBianco
  • Focal Therapy
    • High intensity frequency ultrasound (HIFU)
    • Irreversible electronporation (IRE)
    • Transurethral ultrasound ablation (TULSA)
    • Mentor: Dr. Benidir

The clinical program is designed to provide the fellow with a practical knowledge of the most up-to-date and cutting-edge methods of diagnosing and treating all types and stages of these urologic diseases. The fellowship faculty have significant experience in all aspects of endourology, HoLEP, focal therapy, 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 admitting and operative privileges as well as taking an equal share of faculty call responsibilities. The fellow will have incremental and independent surgical responsibility under the guidance of the fellowship directors. This responsibility will require a foundational level of technical skill and decision-making ability, as fellows are expected to progress towards independent surgical proficiency.

The fellow is also expected to 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

Endourology Training – The fellow will gain experience in shockwave lithotripsy, flexible and semirigid ureteroscopy, and percutaneous nephrostolithotomy. Percutaneous access may be performed by Urology or in conjunction with members of the Division of Interventional Radiology and involve both standard antegrade and retrograde fluoroscopic access approaches as well as ultrasound-guided access. 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.

Laparoscopic and Robotics Training – The fellow will learn a variety of minimally invasive surgical techniques including both conventional laparoscopy and robot-assisted laparoscopy for upper tract urologic surgery (i.e. adrenalectomy, pyeloplasty, partial nephrectomy, radical nephrectomy and nephroureterectomy) an lower tract urologic surgery (i.e. radical and simple prostatectomy, partical and radical cystectomy, reconstructive urology). Training to perform robotic prostatectomy and partial nephrectomy is multifaceted including didactic, video, simulation and step wise hands-on training on both the da Vinci Xi and SP robotic systems. As the pace of progression in our program is swift and demands a high level of initial surgical competence, ideal candidates should have a solid foundation in surgery from residency training. Our training framework is specifically tailored to build upon these foundational skills, with a focus on advanced training in enhancing and refining surgical technique to a high level of proficiency. Our approach is designed to ensure that by the end of their fellowship, our trainees are thoroughly prepared and adept at independently managing the intricacies, nuances and challenges of robot-assisted and laparoscopic surgery.

Focal Therapy Training – 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 including HIFU, IRE and TULSA. 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

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 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  Endourology Society UF Fellowship Application 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: Jennifer.Thompson@urology.ufl.edu

Program Co-Directors

doctor benidir is wearing a white doctors coat with a blue collared shirt and purple and gray tie

Dr. Tarik Benidir, MD, MSc, FRCSC is an Assistant Professor of Urology and the Director of the Prostate Cancer Advisory Council of Florida. His surgical practice is based out of Shands Hospital. Dr. Benidir performs robotic prostate, kidney, upper tract and bladder oncologic surgeries. This includes robotic urinary diversions for bladder cancer patients. Dr. Benidir also performs MRI/3D US fusion transperineal prostate biopsies and has a robust focal therapy program including high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), TULSA and Irreversible electroporation (Nanoknife). From a research standpoint, Dr. Benidir is involved in several clinical trials in bladder and prostate cancer at our NCI designated Cancer Center here at UF. He is the lead investigator on a reproductive organ sparing Radical Cystectomy trial. He is interested in prostate imaging, theranostics, and biomarker research for prostate cancer and focal therapy management.

Residency: University of Toronto
Fellowship: Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, Cleveland Clinic

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 a Professor of Urology, Director of the Endourology Fellowship, 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 experience with 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.

Residency: University of Miami
Fellowship: University of Iowa

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 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.

Residency: University of Minnesota
Fellowship: University of Minnesota

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 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. He is deeply committed to education of the residents and fellows alike.

Residency: George Washington University
Fellowship: University of Michigan


Jason Joseph, MD is an Assistant Professor of Urology and Director of MIS Education. He completed his Urology residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and fellowship in MIS and Endourology at the University of Florida. Dr. Joseph’s clinical focus is in robot-assisted surgery for both urologic cancers (prostate cancer, kidney cancer, upper tract urothelial carcinoma), as well as benign urologic conditions (upper tract reconstruction, robot-assisted simple prostatectomy). His research interests are in machine learning and imaging of prostate cancer, as well as strategies for advancing surgical education.

Residency: Mayo Clinic – Rochester
Fellowship: University of Florida

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, FRCS 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.

Residency: New York Presbyterian – Weill Cornell Medical College
Fellowship: James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital

UF Urology Fellowship Video

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 completed his Urology residency training at the University of Florida and Endourology Fellowship Training at Duke University Medical Center. He manages a busy stone practice at UF which includes both the surgical and metabolic management of complex kidney stone disease. He also maintains a practice at the Malcom Randall Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center which is primarily focused on prostate cancer. His research interests include artificial intelligence applications in urology, medical imaging radiomics, laser lithotripsy, metabolic stone disease, and the development and testing of novel medical devices.

Residency: University of Florida
Fellowship: Duke University

Testimonies from Past Fellows

Bristol Whiles, MD

Bristol Whiles, MD

The University of Florida’s Fellowship Program was ideal for my combined interest in minimally invasive surgery and endourology. It offers a unique combination of depth and breadth for complex stone disease, benign prostatic hyperplasia (HoLEP), and robotic surgeries. For stone management, the program has experts in obtaining their own access in both the prone and supine positioning with fluoroscopy and ultrasound techniques. Their robotic training encompasses both multiport and single-port DaVinci robotic platforms via transperitoneal and retroperitoneal approaches for benign and malignant conditions. One of the program’s strengths is its flexibility, allowing fellows to tailor their schedules based on individual clinical interests. The fellow is the primary learning and operating surgeon on multiple cases each week (with MIS faculty). With access to the VA and university hospitals, you gain valuable teaching experience with the residents. The program also offers a dedicated research day each week. Fellows have the opportunity to present their research at national meetings. Overall, the University of Florida’s Fellowship Program provides a diverse and comprehensive training experience and empowers fellows to shape their year based on individual interests and goals.

Jason P. Joseph, MD

Jason P. Joseph, MD

Reflecting on my time as an MIS/endourology fellow at UF, I can attest to the unparalleled educational experience the program offers. Building on a solid surgical foundation attained during my Urology residency, the fellowship allowed me to further refine my skills with a curriculum that was tailored to my individual learning goals and clinical aspirations. The mentorship I received was unparalleled. The internationally renowned fellowship faculty were not just mentors but also advocates for my personal and professional development. Their guidance was instrumental in helping me navigate the intricacies of clinical practice, research, and career development, always in alignment with my personal goals. The confidence and readiness with which fellows conclude the program is a testament to the dedicated mentorship and the strong, supportive network the program fosters. I am proud to be a product of this outstanding program and am excited to see how it will shape fellows who follow. 

Jonathan Pavlinec, MD

Jonathan Pavlinec, MD

The UF Endourology and Robotics fellowship training enabled me to confidently take care of complex patient scenarios at the beginning of independent practice.  This allowed for a seamless transition as an attending surgeon. It also opened numerous doors in areas of consulting and leadership within Endourology. I have leveraged this experience to obtain cutting edge technology at my local hospitals, bringing high-quality care directly to local communities in need. On top of learning refined techniques in surgical and medical management, I also felt that leadership development was prioritized; this is invaluable for the early career surgeon. I am grateful for my time in the program, and would highly recommend it to a prospective applic

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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.

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.

FThe UF Department of Urology offers advanced care in all aspects of both pediatric and adult urology and is the premiere academic urology program in the state of Florida and a leading center in the Southeast.

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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