Training Overview

Clinical Training

Medical students match directly into our six-year program through the AUA Urology Residency Matching Program. First year of Urology, residents (PGY1) spend six months under the urology service and six months under  the UCSF Department of Surgery. Intern rotations focus on maximal exposure to basic open and laparoscopic general surgery procedures, critical care, kidney transplant, trauma, and plastic surgery. The next five years of residency are spent solely in the Department of Urology.

Second year Urology residents (PGY2) spend four months at the San Francisco VA. Four months are spent at the Bakar Cancer Center at Mission Bay, where two of the months are spent on the Pediatric Urology service. Objectives for this rotation include broad exposure to urologic oncology surgeries and patient care, robotic surgery, ultrasound skills, and brachytherapy. The other four months are spent at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital where the resident focuses on trauma, general urology, cystoscopy, transrectal ultrasound, and endourology.

Third year residents (PGY3) spend four months at the Parnassus and Mission Bay campuses, and the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. The resident spends two months on the Endourology/Stones service and two months on reconstructive urology at Parnassus with two months on the Pediatric Urology service at Mission Bay. Residents this year will further develop their surgical skills in all domains and focus on continuity of care from diagnosis to discharge.

Fourth year residents (PGY4) spend four months at the Bakar Cancer Center at Mission Bay serving as the senior Oncology resident and eight months at the Parnassus campus. While at the Parnassus campus, rotations include Endourology/Stones and Urologic subspecialties such as reconstruction, female urology, andrology, infertility, and erectile dysfunction. On the subspecialty block, residents function as the junior Chief Resident of the Parnassus service.

Fifth year residents (PGY5) spend one year dedicated to research. This may include basic science, translational, clinical or outcomes research. Some residents elect to pursue advanced degrees during this year.

Sixth year residents (PGY6) function as Chief residents and rotate four months each at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, the San Francisco VA, and Parnassus/Mission Bay. The year is dedicated to developing leadership skills, advancing surgical technique, perfecting patient care, and deciding upon future career goals.

Academic Education


Residents have a protected time each week for their didactic learning sessions. It is done utilizing a flipped classroom teaching approach led by UCSF Faculty with case- and question-based format. High-yield review sessions are also planned to help residents prepare for the in-service examination. 


Each month, residents participate in the following educational sessions:

  • UNIQUE (Urol, Rad, Neph, Path) Conference
  • Lifetime Congenital Urology Conference
  • Morbidity & Mortality Conference
  • Grand Rounds
  • Journal Club/Mentor College
  • Pediatric Dry Rounds
  • Stoller Radiology Rounds

In addition to the weekly and monthly sessions, residents also have quarterly skills lab sessions which allows them to hone their skills through hands-on activities (i.e. robotic/ laparoscopic skills, conduit/neobladder creation and ureteral anastomoses with pig intestines, cadaver lab activities, etc.). 

Leadership and Wellness Curriculum

In order to help our residents grow and develop them into leaders both in residency and their future careers, our department created a leadership and wellness curriculum which is designed to supplement residents’ education by focusing on topics outside of urology-centric didactic learning. 

Sample Leadership Topics

  • Power at the Podium: Nailing your Presentation from Conceptualization to Delivery
  • Philanthropy in Medicine
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Near Misses
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Sample Wellness Topics

The wellness curriculum is built around the 7 pillars of wellness – physical, financial, spiritual, social, occupational, emotional, environmental. 

  • Physical: sleep, nutrition, physical fitness, substance abuse
  • Financial: loan repayment and financial advice, the business of medicine, retirement planning, disability insurance, philanthropy in medicine
  • Spiritual: mindfulness and reflection, resilience and burnout, positive coping strategies, end of life care, medical ethics
  • Social: getting the most from your mentors, giving and receiving feedback, building and sustaining diverse teams, conflict management, teamwork and communication
  • Occupational: balancing work and family, delivering bad news, dealing with difficult patients, dealing with difficult consultants and staff, time management, interviews & job hunt, academic careers, depositions/medical malpractice, journey to leadership
  • Emotional: physician suicide, debriefing traumatic events, dealing with medical errors and shame
  • Environment: wellness in the workplace, diversity/equity/inclusion, near misses, structural racism in medicine