University of Pennsylvania

Title University of Pennsylvania
Categories Fellowships
Location Philadelphia, PA
Job Information

Description of the Robotic Urologic Surgery Fellowship 2020

Perelman School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania

Department of Surgery

Division of Urology


David Lee, MD

Tom Guzzo, MD

Daniel Lee, MD

Phil Mucksavage, MD

Ariana Smith, MD

Correspondence to:

David Lee, MD

Division of Urology

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center

51 N. 39th Street

Medical Office Building Suite 300

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone:  215-662-8699

Fax:      215-243-2060


Goals and objectives

Our goals and objectives for the fellowship follow the current fellowship that we have currently in place that is to:

  1. Train annually a urologic surgeon to be highly proficient in robotic urologic surgery
  2. Encourage participation and completion of ongoing research projects related to robotic urologic surgery and minimally invasive urologic surgery techniques
  3. This person should have completed a urologic residency where laparoscopy is being performed in adequate volume


Our fellowship is one of the longest standing robotic fellowships in the country having continuously trained a fellow since 2005.  The fellow will be integrated into the urologic robotic surgery practices of 5 urologic surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania.  He/she will be involved in the perioperative and postoperative care of these patients.  He/she will also be involved in the training of Penn Urology residents during their participation in robotic urological surgery.  He/she will lead new research and continue ongoing research projects pertaining to robotic surgery within the division.  The fellow will also participate in research related to training on both the live and simulated systems.

Evaluation Methods

The fellow will receive frequent feedback on his/her progress pertaining to surgical skill and patient management.  Evaluation is also performed as part of the protocol for all surgical fellowships that are run within the Department of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.  The fellows are taught robotic procedures in a stepwise fashion.  For example, during robot prostatectomy cases, the fellow is expected to perform a predefined section of the procedure until the portion is performed in a skilled and time efficient manner.  Once one step is mastered, the fellow is advanced to the next step in the progression.

Surgeons with whom the fellow with work and expected volumes

The principal preceptor is David Lee, MD.  Dr. Lee completed his fellowship with Dr. Ralph Clayman and Dr. Tom Ahlering where he was involved with one of the pioneering experiences of robotic prostatectomy at UCI Medical Center.  He is Chief of Urology at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and Director of the Robotic Urologic Fellowship at Penn Urology.  He has performed more than 6000 robotic prostatectomy cases and routinely performs around 400 prostatectomy cases per academic year.  The fellow will operate with Dr. Lee 1-2 days per week.

Dr. Tom Guzzo is the Chief of the Division of Urology.  He completed his fellowship in urologic oncology at John Hopkins.  He is one of the busiest urologic oncologists in Pennsylvania and performs robotic urologic oncology cases routinely performing 400 robotic cases per year including prostates, kidneys and bladder.  The fellow will operate with Dr. Guzzo once per week.

Dr. Daniel Lee is also a urologic oncologist having finished his fellowship at Vanderbilt and also performs primarily robotic oncology cases including prostates, kidneys and bladders.  The fellow will operate with Dr. Lee once per week.

Also having trained with Drs. Clayman and Dr. Ahlering, Dr. Phil Mucksavage performs a wide variety of robotic procedures including radical prostatectomy, radical and partial nephrectomy, pyeloplasty, as well as having an active stone practice.  The fellow will operate with Dr. Mucksavage 1 day a month at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Dr. Ariana Smith is an associate professor of urology also at Pennsylvania Hospital.  She completed her residency at Penn and then a female urology fellowship at UCLA.  She performs robotic sacrocolpopexy procedures.  The fellow will operate with Dr. Smith 1-2 days a month.

All totaled we expect that our faculty will perform nearly 1000 robotic urological cases lending a depth and breadth of cases that will be competitive against any other fellowship program site.

Research opportunities

We are maintaining a comprehensive database of all robotic surgery that is being performed within the Penn Health System to study and track clinical outcomes of our patients.  We also have a dedicated research nurse to perform database management and maintenance, obtaining consents, and perform IRB protocol management.  We have ongoing collaborations with our departments of medical oncology, pathology, radiology, radiation oncology, bioengineering (specifically robotics), and biostatistics in which the fellow can participate to explore the areas of his or her interest.

Percent of the time fellow with spend in surgery, with patients, on research activities, teaching and performing administrative duties

The fellow will spend 3 days per week performing robotic surgery with the above mentioned attendings.  He/she will spend one day in clinic with Dr. Lee. During the OR times the fellow will have mainly console time as the tableside assistants are dedicated PA’s.  Minimal table side assisting will be performed by the fellow at the very outset of the fellowship so that they become comfortable with this very important aspect of the procedure.  The fellow will have occasional teaching duties for medical students and will act to teach the residents during robotic procedures.

Materials required for application

 The applicant will provide:

1) Current Curriculum Vitae

2) Recent residency case log (last 1 to 2 years)

3) 3 letters of recommendation

Contact Name David Lee M.D.
Contact Email
Region North America
Job Address

University of Pennsylvania
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
Division of Urology
39th and Market St MOB
Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Country US
Phone 215-662-8699
Fax 215-243-2060