Robert L. Segal
Sexual Medicine Fellow from 7/1/2011 - 6/30/2013
John Hopkins Medical Institutions
I think that a Fellow who opts to train at any of the SMSNA-endorsed Fellowships will receive excellent training and will certainly be a sexual medicine expert at the conclusion of their Fellowship. A candidate must make his decision about where to train based on where they feel that their objectives for training can be best met, so that they can establish the career of their choosing.
I chose to train at Johns Hopkins because I was very impressed with the curriculum and with Dr. Burnett, and certainly the allure of training at such a prestigious institution could not be ignored. There were myriad research and clinical opportunities, and I felt that opportunities for my subsequent career would be many. I also liked the city of Baltimore and felt that my family (I have a wife and 2 young daughters) would flourish there, as there is a great educational system.
The strengths of the Fellowship definitely included the research opportunities available. You are surrounded by experts, not only in Urology but every in other biomedical domain, which allows for high-level collaborative research to be conducted. Dr. Burnett is not only very supportive, but also has many contacts, so whatever idea you have for a research project will be supported and pursued. Dr. Burnett will do everything in his power to ensure that the work will come to fruition. I was able to participate in many projects, several of my own but other collaborative efforts as well, including working with experts from basic science, statistics, plastic surgery, internal medicine and psychology. I had the opportunity to present my research at several conferences, including the SMSNA and AUA annual meetings.
The other major strength was the breadth of clinical exposure. We had a very busy clinical practice and I had great exposure to clinical and operative sexual medicine (erectile dysfunction, Peyronie’s disease, hypogonadism, priapism), including highly specialized situations, such as genital neophallus reconstruction. Additionally, I had a lot of opportunity to collaborate in the OR with other specialties, including plastic and general surgery, and to participate in non-sexual medicine surgeries, such as for male incontinence (AUS, male sling), urethral stricture disease (urethroplasty), prostate cancer (radical retropubic prostatectomy), BPH (TURP), penile cancer (penectomy, inguinal lymph node dissection) and female incontinence (pubovaginal slings). Dr. Burnett allows great independence based on your level of comfort, and most cases are done with the Fellow and resident working independently under his supervision.
The Fellowship met my goals as I am confident that I am an expert in the field of sexual medicine. It helped me prepare for my career because I see general urology in my practice as well, so the clinical diversity of the Fellowship was a plus.