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New Urology Specialty Program Brings More Medical Residents to the North

Posted on December 6, 2023
Learn more about the new Urology.

A new residency program at NOSM University will help improve access to urology services in Northern Ontario.

Urologists are physicians who specialize in diseases of the male and female urinary tracts including the kidneys and bladder, and male reproductive organs. The program will train residents in voiding dysfunction, reconstructive urology, oncology, pediatrics, and infertility.

Many Northern Ontario communities do not have direct access to urological services. The program has a strong focus on health equity and will help residents to understand the challenges of offering urological care to rural patients, including patients in Indigenous communities, who may not have a urologist in their home community.

Residents will be based in Thunder Bay and will have clinical opportunities at both the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) and Health Sciences North in Greater Sudbury. Additional training will take place in smaller communities and regional hospitals. Physicians will learn to deliver care to rural communities as part of outreach programs, including Teleconsultation clinics. Through an inter-institutional agreement, the University of Toronto will provide additional mandatory rotations with specific training that is not available in Northern Ontario clinical settings.

“NOSM University is pleased to continue to expand our residency programs. Training urologists in the North will encourage more specialists to stay here to practise and to fill regional health-care needs,” says Dr. Rob Anderson, Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education.

The five-year program is now open for applications from medical graduates through the CaRMS R-1 match and will admit its first residents in July 2024.

Dr. Walid Shahrour, inaugural Program Director, Urology, currently serves as the surgical oncology lead for Northwestern Ontario and the lead of urology at TBRHSC. Dr. Shahrour completed a clinical fellowship in reconstructive urology and trauma at Kulkarni Hospital in Pune, India, following medical school and residency at McGill University. He joined the faculty at NOSM University in 2016. Dr. Shahrour’s clinical practice focuses on minimally invasive surgeries and on all aspects of reconstructive urology, including cancer survivorship, urethral reconstruction, men’s health, upper tract, and pediatric reconstruction. His research interests include reconstructive urology and health equity.

“I am very excited to help launch this new residency so that physicians in the North can offer better access to urology services where they are needed most,” says Dr. Shahrour.

The new program is part of NOSM University’s expansion, which will nearly double the number of postgraduate positions by 2028. This will be achieved by gradually adding new residency programs—including Urology—as well as by increasing the number of positions in existing programs. In the same time period, the capacity of the MD program will also gradually increase and nearly double.

Learn more about the new Urology program at