University of Alberta - Urology - Edmonton


Program Director

Dr. Peter Metcalfe


Program Administrator

Tara Graham

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  • We are a centre of excellence in reconstruction, endourology, uro-oncology, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) and transplantation.

  • We are a recognized leader in the use of laparoscopy, robotics, lasers, cryosurgery, radio frequency ablation and image‐guided therapy.

  • We offer simulation training, including dry labs, animal labs and an endourology simulator.

  • We have an established robotic surgery program with two robotic platforms in use since 2007.

  • Our program has a strong focus on basic science and clinical research in pediatric urology, reconstructive urology, uro-oncology, photodynamic therapy and laser technology.

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Residents mainly divide their time between two teaching hospitals, the University of Alberta Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Residents also work in the recently opened, $40-million Dianne and Irve Kipnes Centre for Urology (DIKCU), which offers 32 exam rooms, six cystoscopy suites, one lithotripsy suite, two urodynamic suites, four minor procedure rooms and a 10-bay recovery room accommodating about 55,000 patient visits a year.

Light rail transit connects the two main teaching sites (University and Royal Alexandra hospitals).


What are the best things about your specialty?

Urology is a challenging specialty that combines an exciting and varied operative experience with an active office practice. Of all surgical specialties, urology offers the most diverse surgical experience. Operative techniques include laparoscopy, robotics, open surgery, endoscopy, prosthetics and microsurgery. Urology is at the forefront of a number of technological advances, including diagnostics, lasers, focal therapy (cryosurgery, radiofrequency ablation, high intensity focused ultrasound) and robotics. Similarly, our patient population is quite varied, representing all age groups and genders. An added bonus in urology is the strength and quality of your colleagues. Urologists tend to be both humorous and enthusiastic. We are fun to work with.

What are the worst things about your specialty?

As is the case with all other surgical specialties, urology is dependent upon operative resources that are limited, at times, in a publicly funded health care system.

Why did you choose your specialty?

It’s rare to find an unhappy urologist who is disappointed with his or her career choice. This is a rewarding discipline. We deal with a diverse patient population and disease processes. Our treatments are effective. Urology incorporates a healthy mix of both surgery and medicine.

What types of clinical cases do you commonly see?

Urology encompasses both adult and pediatric populations. Urologists can choose a general practice or focus their efforts in one of the many urologic subspecialties. These include pediatric urology, genito-urinary reconstruction, transplantation, oncology, endourology (stone disease), MIS (laparoscopy and robotics), infertility, incontinence/female urology, andrology (erectile dysfunction) and research. Surgical cases range from minimally invasive surgery to open surgery and from endoscopy to microsurgery.

Briefly describe a typical day.

Every day is unique. One day may be spent in the office consulting with patients, while the next might be spent in an ambulatory clinic performing minor procedures such as vasectomies, cystoscopy and shock wave lithotripsy. Operative days could involve the endoscopic removal of kidney stones from a half-dozen patients or devoting the entire day to removing a cancerous kidney with a tumour thrombus extending into the heart. Variety indeed.