On October 6, 2017, UCSF’s Department of Urology celebrated its 100th anniversary with an educational seminar, a black-tie gala and the release of a book commemorating the department’s first century.
“UCSF Urology has an enterprising history, evolving from a small clinic treating primarily venereal diseases to a massive, yet compassionate clinical enterprise powered by a ground-breaking research while educating some of the best young minds in this specialty,” says current Chair Peter R. Carroll, MD, MPH. “This commitment to care, discovery and education has been consistent over time, producing generations of leaders in the field, whose impact was, and importantly is, far-reaching.”
The event was held at one of the most famous landmarks in San Francisco: the 17-story Beaux Arts Merchant Exchange Building. Built in 1904 and then restored after the Great Earthquake of 1906, the building has long served as a hub of civic, financial, and political life in San Francisco.
During this same post-earthquake period, the University of California was creating a hub of medical facilities in San Francisco. Research and teaching functions that had to be temporarily transferred to the UC Berkeley campus following the earthquake (later returned to the city in 1912). And the university set about building new hospitals, as well as creating the Hooper Foundation for Medical Research in an old veterinary clinic on Sutro Hill. It was there that Frank Hinman, MD, the first formally trained urologist in San Francisco, set up UC’s first academic surgical specialty and dedicated laboratory space in 1917: the Division of Urology.
These twin histories of civic and medical rebuilding made the Julia Morgan Ballroom – an elegant room featuring coffered ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows - an apt setting for the 100th anniversary celebration.
During the day, the Department hosted a daylong educational seminar that brought together more than 120 past and present residents, fellows, and faculty from around the United States and abroad. After opening remarks by Department of Urology Chair Peter Carroll, MD, MPH, morning sessions included panels on urinary tract reconstruction (moderated by Jack McAninch, MD), forming interdisciplinary care teams to tackle clinical and research questions (moderated by Marshall Stoller, MD), and pediatric and transitional urologic care (moderated by Laurence Baskin, MD). Afternoon panels focused on the future of urologic cancer treatment (moderated by Maxell Meng, MD) and the future of urology training and practice (moderated by Kirsten Greene, MD, MS).
In the evening, 270 UCSF Urology staff and guests joined in a gala black-tie event. With a slideshow of more than 200 historic and current photos rotating in the background, Peter Carroll MD, MPH opened the evening by asking former department chair Emil Tanagho, MD, credited with advancing the department’s academic mission to gave welcoming remarks.
Maurice Garcia, MD, MAS gave a presentation on the history of the Department that touched on its very earliest years, when Hugh Hampton Young, MD (long considered the father of urology) sent one of his prodigies (Hinman) to UCSF to be the first chair of that small division of surgery. Garcia’s presentation also covered the primary interests of and initiatives launched under Donald Smith, MD (who was chair from 1950 until 1976), Emil Tanagho (1976-1996), and Peter Carroll (1996 to the present.)
Drs. Greene and McAninch also highlighted the evolution of the department’s highly regarded training program, starting with urologists in private practice who volunteered their time to train residents (under Hinman and Smith). “These were wonderful clinicians and surgeons who gave freely of their time to see that the residents were tutored appropriately and were well trained when they completed the program,” McAninch said. “It was the beginning of what would become an outstanding program, due to the commitment of these fine physicians”
Tanagho, who became the Chair in Urology in 1976, was the first Chair to secure funds for the development of a full-time faculty to staff the main UCSF Hospital, the Veterans Hospital, and San Francisco General. “Now the training program has evolved into what it is today,” McAninch says, “something much different than it was in the beginning.”
As a memento of the celebration, guests received a complimentary copy of a 150-page history of urology at UCSF that was published in September. Amply illustrated with historic photos, drawings, journal fragments, and correspondence, the book details the history of the department from its very earliest beginnings to the current day operations.
The book’s dedication summarized well the need to celebrate this milestone with a nod to:
“...past, present and future patients who have entrusted their care to members of this department. We express our lasting admiration to the generations of physician who have walked these halls before us; they have left a rich legacy. To our future leaders: we hope this book will serve as an inspiration to continue our missions to deliver remarkable and compassionate care, conduct novel research and educate the future leaders in our field.”