Farewell to the Chiefs: Christi Butler, Natalia Leva, Kelly Walker

Submitted by Lela Nargi on June 30, 2020 at 11:14 am
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UCSF’s Department of Urology 2020 chief residents—Class of 2020“Amazing people, surgeons, physicians, role models, and mentors,” in the words of Assistant Professor of Urology and Associate Residency Program Director Lindsay A, Hampson, MD MAS—graduated earlier this month. The usual celebratory dinner at the St. Francis Yacht Club was cancelled due to Covid-19, but program manager Katherine Jung says the department cut short the monthly Morbidity & Mortality conference in order to celebrate Christi Butler, Natalia Leva, and Kelly Walker.

“We are so incredibly grateful to Christi, Natalia and Kelly for all of their hard work and significant contributions to our patients, community and Department. Department faculty couldn’t be more proud of the growth and development that each has shown over their 6 years here at UCSF Urology” said Ben Breyer MD, MAS Professor of Urology and Hinman Endowed Chair in Education and the Residency Program Director. “Each will make big contributions during their careers. They are a testament to what a special opportunity it is to be a UCSF Urology trainee.”

Arriving “wide-eyed and timid” in 2014 from the Stanford University School of Medicine, Leva says she’s spent the last six years working “long days and longer nights, pushing past the limits of my comfort zone to cultivate a vast clinical and surgical skillset.”

“Natalia’s commitment to doing the right thing for those under her care is superb," says Associate Professor Alan W. Shindel, MD MAS. Leva also underwent a huge sea change in her personal life: getting married and, this year, becoming a mother after going into labor just hours after completing a full day of surgeries. “I have come to understand that my role as a physician means mastering the art of being a learner and a leader,” she says, which she trusts will help to guide her in her new role, as UCSF’s new Pediatric Urology Fellow.

Next stop for Walker: the Male Infertility and Andrology fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where she hopes to expand her skills in “creating an integrated fertility practice with a comprehensive approach to infertility among partners,” she says. Coming to UCSF from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine as an “unsure, blushing intern,” Walker says she’s grateful for the nurturing relationships she developed with her urology “family,” the opportunity to forge a newfound interest in telehealth—more relevant now than ever—and receiving the SSMR & SMSNA Traveling Fellowship.

Shindel is very excited that Walker, with her “dedication to excellence in all that she does,” will be joining his own sub-specialty of urology.

As for Butler, whom Shindel credits with being a superb clinician and outstanding team leader, she’ll be leaving UCSF to study Transgender Reconstruction at Oregon Health Sciences University. She credits her close personal relationships with faculty and fellow residents for her success these past years.

“I am a better doctor and certainly a better person because of them,” says the graduate of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. “I'm excited to move onto the next chapter of my training, but I will miss everyone here. I love you UCSF Urology!”

 “Each of the graduating chiefs has a bright future and will represent UCSF as a leader and trailblazer,” says Hampson. “Even though they are flying the coop, they will always be part of our UCSF family and we can’t wait to watch them continue to grow and succeed!”

“In the midst of all this uncertainty, we are sure that great futures are unfolding,” says Raj S. Pruthi, MD, MHA, FACS, Department of Urology.  “Three more leaders in the field of Urology will make this world a better place.”





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