Department of Urology

Message from the Chair

Dr. Hunter Wessells

Dr. Hunter Wessells, Department Chair and Professor of Urology

September, 2021

We begin another academic year in the Department of Urology with a sense of excitement and a glimpse of the future of urology. Our hospital workrooms are filled with great fourth-year medical students from our Seattle campus of the School of Medicine, its sites in the various WWAMI states, and all corners of the United States. The Department awarded five scholarships to outstanding sub-interns from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. A total of 15 sub-interns each spent four weeks in the Department, splitting their rotation between two different hospitals. We have learned from their interactions on the wards and clinics and their much-anticipated sub-intern talks, and are so excited that we have been able to host them in person this year.

The Department celebrated what we thought was the end of Covid on June 13, 2021, when faculty, trainees, and alumni gathered to enjoy a meal together without masks. Unfortunately, we are up against a formidable virus that continues to mutate and fill hospital beds across the region and the country. Despite these challenges, we recognize the need to continue with our work undaunted. On July 7th the Department opened a new urologic resource for patients and referring providers at UW Medical Center Northwest Campus, the McMurray Building Clinic Opening . Students are back in the classrooms in the Seattle Public Schools (a relief to many faculty, staff and trainees) and undergraduates will return to the University of Washington next week. Students and residents are on rotations everywhere, and we anticipate sending our senior residents back to Anchorage for a fifth year of our WWAMI rotation.

We can control the safety of our hospital environment through vaccination, diligently wearing masks, and making wise choices about social distancing and social gatherings. For national meetings, it is safer right now living in the virtual world. Many members of the Department were relieved that the American Urological Association chose to pivot to a virtual meeting. The AUA Annual Meeting starts this Friday with a great lineup of UW Urology faculty, trainees, students and alumni. While AUA’s virtual conference means we will not be hosting our annual alumni reception this year as we had hoped, we encourage you instead to find a session, watch one of our residents, fellows or faculty members give a talk, and participate actively in the meeting. Thanks for your support!

Sincerely,

Hunter Wessells, MD, FACS
Professor and Nelson Chair of Urology
University of Washington School of Medicine