The Department of Urology minimally invasive surgery fellowship is a one or two-year program that provides comprehensive training in all aspects of laparoscopic and robotic urologic surgery and minimally invasive urologic oncology with an opportunity for fellows in the two-year program to graduate with a master’s degree in clinical research from Indiana University School of Medicine. This program is recognized by the Endourological Society.
If qualified candidates for a two-year fellowship are not available, applicants are considered for a one-year clinical training program, which focuses on advanced laparoscopy, including robot-assisted surgery. Faculty in the IU School of Medicine Department of Urology perform more than 400 laparoscopic and robot-assisted surgeries every year. The fellow’s time is equally distributed between clinical work and research during the fellowship.
The annual salary and benefits for fellows in the urology minimally invasive surgery fellowship program are equivalent to that of a senior resident/fellow at IU School of Medicine. More information about salary and benefits are available through the Office of Graduate Medical Education.
Applicants to this fellowship program must be eligible for an unrestricted medical license in Indiana and must have completed an accredited residency in the United States or Canada. This fellowship participates in the Endourological Society fellowship match program. Details and application forms are available through the Endourological Society.
Fellows in this program are exposed to all aspects of urologic laparoscopic surgery, including laparoscopic donor nephrectomy, robot-assisted prostatectomy with the da Vinci surgical system, adrenalectomy and other routine renal surgeries. Minimally invasive surgery fellows work mostly with program director Chandru Sundaram, MD, and are an integral part of the urology department, working with other faculty as well during laparoscopic, robotic and endourologic procedures. Clint Bahler, MD, is the Associate Director of the program with a clinical and research interest in MIS of the kidney and prostate, advanced imaging of the prostate and HIFU. There is also extended exposure to surgical techniques, as department chair Michael Koch, MD, and Tom Gardner, MD, have practices in advanced robotic surgery. Fellows function as junior attending urologists at Eskenazi Hospital (Indianapolis) three to four times each month to supervise residents in the operating room as well as urology clinics. Fellows assist with weekend chief resident or attending physician home call about once a month.
An advanced laparoscopic training facility is managed by the urology minimally invasive surgery fellow for the purpose of training medical students and urology residents. Third and fourth year medical students are offered a month-long elective in urologic laparoscopy and the fellow is closely involved with their education and clinical research. The da Vinci surgical system is used predominately by urologists.
Fully-equipped laboratory spaces are available at IU School of Medicine’s Indianapolis campus, and clinical studies are in progress. Comprehensive MIS databases are available for prostatectomies, renal surgery and adrenalectomies. A two-year clinical investigator and translational education (CITE) program leading to a master of science in clinical research and other masters programs are available to qualified IU School of Medicine fellows.
The fellows have opportunity to help design and run clinical trials in both renal cancer and prostate cancer. Current clinical trials include PSMA-PET imaging for prediction of extra-prostatic extension and nerve-sparing during prostatectomy as well as PSMA-PET for cancer screening and biopsy guidance.