Washington University School of Medicine has a long and distinguished history in preparing graduates for careers in urologic surgery.
The training of urologic surgeons began in 1910, when the medical school appointed John Caulk, MD, as professor of clinical genitourinary surgery. A pioneer in the development of transurethral prostatic resection, Caulk served in this capacity until his death in 1938.
Dalton K. Rose, MD, was professor and head of the division from 1939 to 1953. He made significant contributions to the understanding of bladder physiology. He was the first urologist to perform cystometry and thus is considered the “father” of American urodynamics.
In 1953, Justin J. Cordonnier, MD, became the first full-time head of the division. Cordonnier’s main contribution to urology was the introduction of the ileal conduit urinary diversion.
Saul Boyarsky, MD, who succeeded Cordonnier, was named chief of urologic surgery in 1970. His primary areas of interest were urodynamics and ureteral physiology.
In 1975, William R. Fair, MD, became chief of the division. His primary interests were urinary tract infections, the biochemistry and physiology of the prostate, and urologic oncology.
William J. Catalona, MD, who served as chief from 1984-1998, is best known for two major contributions in urology: developing the PSA test as a marker for prostate cancer and refining the surgical procedure to treat prostate cancer.
In 1990, the Division of Urologic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine performed the first laparoscopic nephrectomy. Ralph V. Clayman, MD, who served on the faculty from 1984-2001, is considered one of the “fathers of laparoscopic urology.”