What is Urology?

Click the link to watch an informative video about Urology as a career choice. This is a CUA production to provide information to medical students across Canada on Urology.


Introduction to U of A Urology:
Welcome to the Division of Urology at the University of Alberta. I am sure you will find your experience with us fulfilling. We are a diverse group of urologists with varied interests and skills and all of us enjoy interacting with and teaching medical students. As a group we act as a major centre for urologic referral throughout western Canada. In particular, our laparoscopic, minimally invasive, pediatric, reconstructive and transplant programs are busy and highly regarded throughout Canada. We hope your experience is highly enjoyable but please let us know if we can make your experience better.

Our urology undergraduate rotations are coordinated through the Undergraduate Medical Education Office and Dr. Trevor Schuler who is the urologist responsible for organizing undergraduate urology education. 

Most of our rotations are preceptor based with preceptors being assigned on a weekly basis. Typically, the fourth year clerkship rotation is 2 weeks in length and is part of a 6 week 4th year surgery block. Of course, elective experience varies between 1 and 4 weeks in duration with active participation in all aspects of the division.

Urology occurs at several sites in the Edmonton Region of the Alberta Health Services Board. The University of Alberta Hospital (UAH, “the U”), Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH, “the Alex”), Misericordia Community Hospital (MIS, “the Mis”) and the Grey Nuns Community Hospital (GNH, “the Nuns”) offer urologic services in the region. Higher intensity procedures are performed at either the UAH or RAH with most resident rotations based strongly out of these sites. The Misericordia Hospital offers short stay and day surgery urologic experience (students and residents rotate here as well). The Grey Nuns has cystoscopic procedures only. Pediatric urology occurs at the Stollery Children’s Hospital which is a self contained pediatric hospital within the University of Alberta Hospital.

The majority of clinics occur at the Northern Alberta Urology Centre (7th Floor Kaye Edmonton Clinic, 11400 University Avenue, Edmonton). This redeveloped office space currently houses 14 urologists, their support staff, the Research Centre, a Resident office, and the Divisional Office of Urology. Other clinics (pediatric, transplant) occur at the University of Alberta Hospital. Students attending clinics are asked to wear appropriate attire and a white clinical coat. The NAUC is conveniently located adjacent to the University of Alberta Hospital. In clinic, try to see patients presenting with new problems and focus on their relevant history and physical examination. Try to formulate a differential diagnosis and outline a treatment plan but don’t be afraid to ask any questions. 

Operating Room:
The operating room is a fundamental part of the practice or urology but can sometimes be an intimidating space for the medical student trying to find his/her way. Don’t be afraid to scrub, ask questions, write postoperative orders and assist in patient transportation.

Medical students typically do 2-3 calls over a two week period. Students will be paired with the resident on call and are asked to touch base with the resident to see “what’s going on” that day. The call is home call, staying in hospital is not required.

Urology Staff:
Our 17 urologists have expertise in a wide range of topics and are more than happy to tell you how great each of our sub-specialties are. Currently, our range of sub-specialties includes:

  • Andrology - Derek Bochinski
  • Endourology - Tim Wollin, Trevor Schuler, Shubha De, Derek Bochinski
  • Female Urology - Gary Gray, Blair St Martin
  • Laparoscopy - Michael Hobart, Eric Estey, Howard Evans
  • Minimally Invasive - Michael Hobart, Eric Estey, Howard Evans, Michael Chetner, Niels Jacobsen, Trevor Schuler, Tim Wollin
  • Pediatric Urology - Darcie Kiddoo, Peter Metcalfe
  • Reconstructive Urology - Keith Rourke
  • Renal Transplant - Gerry Todd, Ron Moore, Trevor Schuler
  • Uro-Oncology - Gerry Todd, Ron Moore, Michael Chetner, Eric Estey, Niels Jacobsen, Trevor Schuler
Urology Residents:
Currently, we have 15 urology residents and they split time between three hospitals (UAH, RAH, and MIS). They are also very keen to teach and tend to be a likeable bunch.

There is opportunity for interested medical students to participate in a research project either with a resident or on your own (with staff guidance of course). We have a research project database in the division listing the projects available…go ahead and ask around.