What is Urology?

MEDICAL STUDENTS : Undergraduate Urology at the U of A - What is Urology?

Click the link below and watch the streaming video on "What is Urology?" This is a CUA production to provide informaiton to medical students across Canada on Urology as a career choice.

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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.

Specialty Surgery Electives
Phone: (780) 735-5953

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 clinics occur at the Northern Alberta Urology Centre, Kaye Edmonton Clinic.  This redeveloped office space currently houses 16 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 Centre 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.


Ward Rounds usually occur at both the University of Alberta Hospital (UAH) and at the Royal Alexandria Hospital (RAH). At the UAH rounds begin at 7am on the urology ward (Unit 3E3) and at the RAH ward rounds happen (on unit 44) at around the same time. Because there is no solitary site where all or the urology experience happens it would be beneficial to round at one of the two sites if you will be based at that site for the day (i.e. round at the University Hospital if you are in the OR or clinics there that day.

Teaching Rounds occur in many forms including formal Resident Teaching Rounds, weekly Grand Rounds and Interesting Case Rounds.

Resident Teaching Rounds happen every Thursday from 8am - 11am at the conference room at the NAUC. These sessions are attended by the staff urologists and cover two topics with each session lasting 90 minutes. The teaching rounds topics are posted on the website Calendar so the time and dates can be confirmed ahead of time.

Divisional Grand Rounds happen every Friday morning from 7-8am at the conference room at the NAUC.

Interesting Case Rounds happen every Tuesday from 7-8am at (you guessed it) the NAUC. The formal Teaching Rounds are protected time and should be attended by the all rotating students as well as resident staff unless something else truly strikes your fancy.

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.

Rotational Objectives:

Rotational objectives and resources have been developed for the urology clerkship and are available on this website. This list of objectives is by no means comprehensive but is there to act as a guide and to cover the basics of urology.


Several current articles have been gathered for the clerkship rotation covering a wide range of urologic topics. Please read these articles, they will give you a strong foundation and many of the clerkship exam questions are derived from these articles (by me)..


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 16 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
  • Endourology
  • Female Urology
  • Laparoscopy
  • Minimally Invasive
  • Pediatric Urology
  • Reconstructive Urology
  • Renal Transplant
  • Uro-Oncology
Urology Residents:

Currently, we have 14 urology residents and they split time between three hospitals (UAH, RAH, and MIS) during various times. 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.