Choosing a residency program is an important decision and Washington University Urology residents are here to help. Our residents answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the residency program. Have a question for us? Please email Erica Traxel, MD, Residency Program Director, or Kellie Hunter, Residency Program Coordinator.


An outline of a trophy. What are your goals for this year?
  • When asked, "What are your goals for this year," Katie Agamawi, PGY-3 urology resident says, “Improve my surgical skills and increase medical knowledge while balancing family life as a new mom!”
  • When asked, "What are your goals for this year," Connor McCormick, PGY-1 urology resident says, “Learn a lot, take good care of my patients, and build a community with my co-interns.”
  • When asked, "What are your goals for this year," Andrew McLaughlin, PGY-2 urology resident says, “To become more involved in research opportunities and develop my skills in endoscopic surgery.”
  • When asked, "What are your goals for this year," Carrie Ronstrom, PGY-4 urology resident says, “My academic goal for the year is to publish one (or two!) manuscripts. I’m also currently expecting, so my other goal is to have a healthy baby.”

An outline of a speech bubble & question mark. What advice would you give medical students applying for residency?
  • When asked, "What advice would you give to medical students applying for residency," Nimrod Barashi, PGY-2 urology resident says, “Work hard, always be available and willing to help, but above all be yourselves. It is nerve-wracking to apply for residency, but be authentic, transparent, and easy-going. If you are trying too hard, it is probably not a good fit.”
  • When asked, "What advice would you give to medical students applying for residency," Helen Kim, PGY-1 urology resident says, “Things get real when you start making your rank list. Take the fluff out and dissect out what is really important to you, even if it’s not the status quo. Only you can make yourself happy!”
  • When asked, "What advice would you give to medical students applying for residency," Laura Lee, PGY-3 urology resident says, “In this strange time, do reach out to us if you have questions about the program or the city. Since you won’t be able to visit, you’ll need extra perspective on what it’s like at a particular place. Feel free to use the contact info you’re given, and ask those questions, so we can help you find your fit. Also, residency is much more fun than medical school, it really does get better.”
  • When asked, "What advice would you give to medical students applying for residency," Affan Zafar, PGY-5 urology resident says, “Don’t get bogged down in minor differences between programs. Go where your gut feeling tells you that you will be happy. When you are happy at a place, you will excel.”

An outline of a globe and a magnifying glass. What are your research interests?
  • When asked, "What are your research interests," Grant Henning, PGY-3 urology resident says, “I really enjoy oncology research and trying to improve decision-making when there are multiple options for going forward. How do we provide an individual patient the most accurate information about their disease in an easily understandable way?”
  • When asked, "What are your research interests," Nick Pickersgill, PGY-2 urology resident says, “Urologic oncology, specifically in minimally-invasive surgical approaches to prostate and kidney cancer.”
  • When asked, "What are your research interests," Carrie Ronstrom, PGY-4 urology resident says, “Right now, I am looking at outcomes after single-port robotic prostatectomy with Drs. Figenshau and Kim.”

An outline of a calendar. What do you do in your free time?
  • When asked what do you do in your free time, Laura Lee, MD, PGY3 Urology resident, says, “I am an avid knitter, love playing designer board games (Gloomhaven, Betrayal at House on the Hill, etc.), adore my Bernese Mountain Dog, and have gotten deep into the rabbit hole of cooking and baking this year.”
  • When asked what do you do in your free time, Connor McCormick, MD, PGY1 Urology resident, says, “Playing outside. I bought a canoe when I moved here and have done lots of trips near the city and in the north Ozarks, even a few overnight camping trips. Lots of the rivers are spring fed and they stay cool and clear, even when it's really hot."
  • When asked what do you do in your free time, Grant Henning, MD, PGY3 Urology resident, says, “I love going out to eat, cooking big meals, going to sporting events, playing sports and just being outside. Really, anything I can do with a good group of friends.”

Washington University shield logo. Why did you choose Washington University?
  • When asked why did you choose Washington University, Helen Kim, PGY 1 Urology resident, says, “I chose WashU for a number of reasons. St. Louis was the perfectly-sized city for me, the urology program had experts in all of the fields that I wanted to explore, and the high operative volume made me feel like I would be prepared by the end of residency. But more importantly, my gut feeling from the general vibe of the faculty and residents when I interviewed here, sold me. It felt welcoming and genuine, which I think is essential for an effective learning environment. As a female entering a male dominated field, this program was extremely diverse, not only within the residency, but amongst faculty members as well.”
  • When asked why did you choose Washington University, Connor McCormick, MD, PGY 1 Urology resident says, "My long-term goal is community practice in my home state of Montana and I wanted to train in a program where the residents leave ready to be independent surgeons who can handle a broad range of urologic diseases. WashU/BJH has a really strong operative experience and great resident autonomy and I thought this program would best prepare me to meet that goal. The camaraderie of the residents here and the obvious commitment to teaching by the faculty sealed the deal for me."
  • When asked why did you choose Washington University, Nick Pickersgill, PGY 2 Urology resident says, “Excellent research opportunities, top-notch surgical training, high volume. Plus, there is no group of people I would rather work alongside for 5 years.”
  • When asked why did you choose Washington University, Daniel Wong, MD, PGY 1 resident, says, “I picked WashU for urology because of the people. Everyone from residents to the director to the chair has been really supportive. They share a culture of sincerity and taking care of one another. I felt like this was a place where I could be happy but also be positioned to pursue any career.”

An outline of a physician. What's your favorite thing about living in St. Louis?
  • When asked what's your favorite thing about living in St. Louis, Andrew McLaughlin, PGY1 Urology resident, says, “The food! And the affordability. Having lived on the East Coast, it makes such a difference to be able to live comfortably on a resident salary here. But seriously, the food scene in St. Louis is very diverse and after 5+ years of living here I'm still finding new favorites.” 
  • When asked what's your favorite thing about living in St. Louis, Connor McCormick, PGY1 Urology resident, says, “It's such a friendly city. People here are excited about living in St Louis and they want you to be excited about it too.” 
  • When asked what's your favorite thing about living in St. Louis, Carrie Ronstrom, PGY4 Urology resident, says, “St. Louis is a great place to live as a resident. There's a variety of free things to do in town including Saint Louis Zoo, Art Museum and History Museum. I personally love hiking and camping at the many nearby states parks and at Mark Twain National Forest, which is just a few hours away. If I want to have a fancy night out, I head out to a show at the Fox Theatre or the symphony.” 

An outline of a doctor. What's your favorite memory from residency?
  • When asked what's your favorite memory from residency, Nick Pickersgill, PGY2 Urology resident says, “Flying out on a kidney procurement on the Transplant Surgery service as an intern!”
  • When asked what's your favorite memory from residency, Carrie Ronstrom, PGY4 Urology resident, says, “I went backpacking with my co-resident Laura Lee, our husbands and dogs at Bell Mountain just 2 hours from St. Louis. We found a wonderful campsite with a great view and enjoyed s'mores together while watching the sunset.”
  • When asked what's your favorite memory from residencyAffan Zafar, PGY5 Urology resident says, “My first time taking an attending through a case instead of the other way around; it showed how far I had come in my training!”

Read more about the Division of Urology on our News page.