Washington University offers fellowships in laparoscopic/robotic urology and endourology/stone disease. Salary support for two fellows per year is generously funded by Midwest Stone Institute. Dr. Ralph V. Clayman started the fellowship in 1984. The fellowship has a long tradition of training excellent urologists. Many of today’s leaders in urology are graduates of the fellowship at Washington University.

The current fellowship can be tailored to fit the fellow’s desired experience and post-fellowship career goals. The fellow can choose to do:

  • Two-year combined fellowship
  • One-year laparoscopic / robotic
  • One-year endourology / stone disease
  • One-year combined fellowship

Current Fellowship Faculty

Clinical Fellowship Director
Robert Sherburne Figenshau, MD
Taylor Family and Ralph V. Clayman, MD Chair in Minimally Invasive Urology
Professor of Surgery, Division of Urology
Washington University School of Medicine

Research Fellowship Director
Ramakrishna Venkatesh, MD
Professor of Surgery, Division of Urology
Washington University School of Medicine

Laparoscopic/Robotic Fellowship Faculty
Robert Sherburne Figenshau, MD
Ramakrishna Venkatesh, MD
Sam Bhayani, MD
Eric Kim, MD
Kefu Du, MD
Gerald Andriole, MD
Arjun Sivaramn, MD
Zachary Smith, MD

Endourology/Stone Disease Fellowship Faculty
Alana Christina Desai, MD
Ramakrishna Venkatesh, MD
Kefu Du, MD

Clinical Responsibilities

The fellow functions as a junior faculty member (Clinical Instructor) with clinical, research, teaching and administrative responsibilities. He/she participates in the attending on-call pool. The fellowship is heavily weighted toward experience in the operating room in advanced robotic, laparoscopic, and endourological procedures. The clinical sites include Barnes-Jewish Hospital (Siteman Cancer Center), Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, and Christian North East Hospital.  All sites have daVinci robots including Si and Xi systems with dual consoles (total of 6). In the 2019-2020 academic year, Barnes-Jewish Hospital acquired a DaVinci single port robot and console to utilize for oncological and reconstructive cases.

The fellows have attending privileges. In some cases, the fellows are in a training situation with a faculty mentor, and in other situations, the fellows supervise the residents during operative cases. Fellows obtain independent robotic privileges early in their fellowship. In addition, fellows are encouraged to become proficient in obtaining their own percutaneous renal access including experience with renal ultrasonography. A unique experiences include a large volume of retroperitoneal robotic partial nephrectomies as well as retroperitoneal approach for pyeloplasties and adrenalectomies.

The combined case numbers (excluding the VA) are shown below for August 1st 2018 to August 1st 2019.

Laparoscopic  / Robotic Nephrectomy139
Lap/Robotic Prostatectomy380
Robotic Partial Nephrectomy (transperitoneal + retroperitoneal)187
Robotic Cystectomy11
Robotic Nephroureterectomy25
Robotic Ureterectomy / Reimplant4
Robotic Bladder Neck Reconstruction5
Robotic Pyeloplasty37
Robotic Ureteroplasty with Buccal Graft6
Prostate Cryoablation22


Fellows will have access to Washington University Urology Data Repository (UDR) containing databases related to kidney cancer, prostate cancer and stone disease. The UDR has dedicated research staff that includes a full-time statistician.  There is also a fully equipped translational minimally invasive research laboratory that includes animal facilities.  The minimally invasive research laboratory also has a daVinci robot for training and educational activities. We encourage the fellows to get involved in multidisciplinary research projects.  The fellow is expected to publish and present his/her work at national and international meetings.


Our advanced laparoscopic/robotic dedicated training facility (WUMIS lab) is for training residents, medical students, and post-graduate students. The fellow has an opportunity to be involved with resident and medical student education and evaluation of minimally invasive techniques including 3-D printing and surgical simulation/surgical rehearsal.

All applicants should apply through the Endourology Society Fellowship Match. All fellows who complete the fellowship successfully will receive recognition from the Endourology Society.