UM Health-Sparrow Urology Residency Program

Message from the Program Director

Richard Sarle, MD Urology Residency
Richard Sarle, M.D.
Program Director, UM Health-Sparrow Hospital Urology Residency

The UM Health-Sparrow Hospital Urology Residency is an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approved urology residency training program. It is affiliated with the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine Statewide Campus System and has direct faculty ties to Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. The Urology Residency faculty is comprised of clinicians from both academic and private practice. As such, the resident is exposed to a balance of academic and private practice urology. The UM Health-Sparrow Hospital Urology Residency program includes a wide scope, variety, and volume of surgical hands-on training, balanced with non-operative clinical training, education, academics, and scholarly activity.

Those who have visited and completed clinical rotations with our training program have appreciated a strong resident culture which supports teamwork and commitment to each of their fellow residents. This is a reflection our resident selection process; searching for high caliber candidates with strong academics and a sense of responsibility for their fellow resident’s success. We make every effort to identify candidates who possess qualities of professionalism, compassion, work ethic, and dedication to our program.

The following pages fully describe the UM Health-Sparrow Hospital Urology Residency; our philosophy, curriculum, and both clinical and educational standards. Our program is designed to provide a competitive, comprehensive education in urology and urological surgery which will allow the resident to follow the career path of their choosing.

Our Mission Statement

Residents and faculty of the UM Health-Sparrow Hospital Urology Residency will embrace the core competencies as a guiding framework for resident education and will provide compassionate, innovative, and state-of-the art clinical care in a respectful and professional manner.

Our Educational Philosophy

The UM Health-Sparrow Hospital Urology Residency is committed to the highest caliber program-preparing residents for a career in either academic or private practice urology. Clinical proficiency, integrity, and sensitivity to Patient satisfaction are paramount. Optimal training of the urology resident is dependent upon talented and motivated residents, committed faculty with clinical expertise, and an institutional environment conducive to learning. To learn the craft of urology, residents will receive:

  • Graded and increasing responsibility in Patient care based on level of training
  • An organized didactic education
  • An evaluation of their performance
  • Instruction to develop skills for lifelong learning
  • An exposure to basic principles of medical research and its application to clinical disease

Residents will develop a general competence in Medical Knowledge, Patient Care, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, and Systems-Based Practice.

Program Description

The UM Health-Sparrow Hospital Program in Urology is an accredited American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) urology residency. The program is affiliated with Michigan State University and two health care systems: UM Health-Sparrow Hospital and McLaren Greater Lansing (MGL).

The UM Health-Sparrow Hospital Residency Program in Urology is committed to being a premier training program for urological surgery. It will provide quality post-graduate training in all aspects of urological surgery. The Residency is committed to the highest standards of educational excellence and provides the knowledge base, clinical training and surgical skills and values essential to becoming a competent certified urological surgeon.

The resident will develop skills as an educator and researcher and skills that serve the Patients, hospitals, and community in becoming strong members of the medical profession.

The program follows ACGME and Urology Review Committee guidelines which includes five years of specialty training in Urology. The Program Director and faculty of the program determine acceptance into the program. Application for the program is made through the ERAS system to the UM Health-Sparrow Hospital Program in Urology.

The residents rotate across the participating sites via Program Letters of Agreement. This affords the resident with 1059 in-patients beds from which to draw experience. When on call, the residents cover both healthcare institutions. Resident work hours are closely monitored by the Program Director to ensure compliance with the 80 hour work week policies of the ACGME. Each resident spends one day per week throughout the training duration in a Urology clinic environment. This clinic mentored by the various training faculty provides clinical experience and supervision, professionalism training, and practice management skill experience.

Our training sites offer in-house experience in all aspects of open Urologic surgery; laparoscopic, robotic and minimally invasive surgery; endoscopic surgery; female urology; pediatric urology; microsurgery, oncology; and office surgical procedures. Residents are afforded the opportunity for out-rotations at well-respected academic institutions should they desire.

Residents have weekly dedicated education conferences at the sponsoring institution on Wednesday mornings with monthly Journal Clubs meeting every second Wednesday evening. Residents are expected to do research and participate in scholarly activities, including paper writing, presentations, and quality improvement. We have the availability of a statistician for help with writing papers and an educational PhD specialist to aid in their education. Residents are required to take the annual American Urological Association’s In-Service exam.

The UM Health-Sparrow Hospital Urology Residency program site originated at Michigan State University (MSU) in 1995 as an American Osteopathic Association (AOA) approved program, approved for two residents. St. Lawrence Hospital in Lansing initially funded the program. UM Health-Sparrow became the responsible institution with the merger of St. Lawrence Hospital and UM Health-Sparrow Hospital. The program was subsequently incorporated into the Michigan State University Statewide Campus System (SCS), as the SCS MSU/COM Urological Surgery Program in 1999. The program as it exists today, occurred with the sponsorship by MSU/GMEI, and subsequently now by UM Health-Sparrow. It became accredited by the ACGME in January of 2015. The UM Health-Sparrow training site has had a close working relationship with the McLaren Greater Lansing (MGL) urology site. Residents from both hospitals share time between the two institutions, obtaining a broad exposure to urologic pathology and Patient care. UM Health-Sparrow Hospital has demonstrated a strong commitment to residency training, and specifically urology resident training. In addition, UM Health-Sparrow has remained committed to the MSU SCS, providing both clinical and academic expertise for participating residency programs.

UM Health-Sparrow Hospital is a university-affiliated, community-based teaching hospital with 670-licensed beds. There is 210 house staff, which includes interns, residents and fellows. It is a Level 1 Trauma Center, which draws from the surrounding nine counties. Service lines include a cancer center, children’s center, and neurological center of excellence, with orthopedics, and women’s services, neurological, cardiac, medical pediatric and neonatal intensive care units, among others. Specific clinical urologic strengths include the varied and extensive surgical case volume, pediatric urology, oncology and robotic/minimally invasive surgical expertise.

Urology residents at the UM Health-Sparrow Hospital site have unlimited access to academic support for research activity through the MSU campus. This support is imperative in fulfilling the research expectations for urology residents within our program.

Selection of urology residents at UM Health-Sparrow Hospital has changed from the historical model of acceptance following internship and one or two years of general surgery, to interviewing and accepting prospective residents during their final year of medical school.

In summary, the cooperative relationship with MGL, community urologists, and MSU/COM, as well as daily subspecialty exposure to pediatric urology and robotic/minimally invasive surgery makes UM Health-Sparrow Hospital a solid training site.


Application Guidelines

The UM Health-Sparrow Hospital Urology Residency participates in the ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) and annual urology resident match sponsored by the American Urological Association. Time line and dates for resident application submission rank order listing, and match results are outlined on the AUA website

General application requirements include a completed application, Dean’s letter of support, medical school transcripts, and a minimum of three letters of recommendation. At least one letter should be from a surgical discipline. Applications are reviewed during the month of October, and competitive applicants are extended an interview. Interviews are one full day, usually taking place on the first and second Fridays of December.

Student Rotations

All third and fourth year medical students are welcome to rotate on our urology service. Students are required to successfully complete their general surgery core rotation prior to their urology rotation. Rotation preference during the months of July through December is given to fourth year medical students interested in urology as a profession and in audition rotations with our training program.

The urology elective offers an in-depth exposure to inpatient, outpatient and operative urology. Students will participate in all aspects of general urology, functioning as an integral member of the urology resident staff. Students will follow the American Urological Association Medical Student Curriculum while on rotation.

The educational learning objectives for this course:

Patient Care

  • Demonstrate efficient history taking skills on Patients presenting with complaints
  • Demonstrate physical examination skills in the evaluation of non-critical Patients presenting with common urology complaints
  • Formulate a differential diagnosis of the most likely conditions based upon symptoms and signs
  • Consider the differential diagnosis in Patients presenting with common urology complaints - from the most serious pathology to the least
  • Order and interpret common ancillary studies such as lab tests or radiographs on urology Patients
  • Institute appropriate therapy of common urology complaints
  • Make decisions concerning the need for Patient hospitalization
  • Demonstrate proficiency in procedural skills appropriate for the medical student level, under the direct supervision of an attending Physician
  • Establish the ability to manage one to three Patients simultaneously
  • Develop and carry out Patient management plans

Students will be responsible for pre-rounding on their assigned Patients prior to rounds and presenting to the team on daily rounds including a complete assessment and plan. Personal Patients are assigned by the resident or attending. Students observe and assist in surgeries and follow their respective Patients from admission until discharge thus establishing a pattern of continuity of care. Students will also experience Patient care in an outpatient setting by seeing Patients in the urology clinic under the supervision of the faculty and senior residents. For the 3rd year rotating students, emphasis will be placed on history and physical exam while gaining an understanding of basic urological disease. For 4th year students their responsibility is increased, and will be expected to act as interns albeit without the same authority and level of supervision. No student will be responsible for performing any procedure in an independent unsupervised manner.

All students will attend regularly scheduled weekly educational conferences to include Morbidity and Mortality, Journal club, grand rounds, and resident / faculty presentations. Students planning on pursuing a career in urology will be required to provide an educational presentation during their rotation. 

Registration with the VSAS system is required to schedule a rotation, and can be found under Catalog Year: (2016-2017), Institution: (Michigan St U Coll Human Med) and Campus: (Lansing Campus). Also required is completion of a Prospective Urology Student Information Form found in our VSAS site. In order to provide the attention and oversight necessary for a quality rotation, fourth year student audition rotations are limited to three visiting students at any given time. A four-week clinical rotation is highly encouraged, however two-week rotations are allowed with prior approval.

Contact Us

For more information about our residency program or questions about the application process, please contact:

Diane Sanders 
UM Health-Sparrow Residency Program Coordinator
1322 E. Michigan Avenue, Suite 202B
Lansing, MI 48912

Phone: 517.364.3587
Email: diane.sanders@UM