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Learn about the history, as well as current and past leadership of the Department of Urology at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Department History

 The Indiana School of Medicine Department of Urology has a rich history dating back to the 1880s. That’s when William Niles Wishard, MD built the county hospital (now known as Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital) and established arguably the first Department of Urology in the country. Since then, important clinical advances, including a cure for testicular cancer and new treatment for prostate cancer, have originated at the department.

Shortly after Wishard’s death in 1941, W.D. Gatch, MD, then dean of IU School of Medicine, listed five qualities of character which he considered contributed to his success:

  • “Great physical and mental vigor”
  • “Indomitable will and fixity of purpose”
  • “Strict disciplinarian”
  • “Careful to observe the proprieties of life”
  • “Infinite capacity for taking pains”

These characteristics we might today call “innovation, purpose, discipline, integrity, and excellence” and they can be seen woven through the 125-year history of the department.

William N. Wishard, MD

Wishard first created the Department of Urology in 1887.

Henry O. Mertz, MD

Mertz became the second chair of the department in 1936. He established the residency program in 1946.

Robert A. Garrett, MD

Garrett became chair of the department in 1953. He was one of the first urologists to use ultrasound to evaluate renal masses.

John P. Donohue, MD

Donohue became chair of the department in 1972. The Indiana pouch, a treatment for bladder cancer, was developed during his time with the department.

Michael O. Koch, MD

Koch joined IU School of Medicine in 1998 and is the current chair of the Department of Urology. Since then, he has helped the department develop new clinical procedures and more than double in size.