The University of Utah has always had a very close relationship with the International Volunteers in Urology (IVUMed). The founder of IVUMed, Dr. Catherine deVries, worked as a pediatric urologist and professor of surgery at University of Utah and the Primary Children’s Medical Center for most of her career. She received numerous very prestigious awards for her vision and work through the American Urologic Association and the American College of Surgeons. Dr. deVries is retired from clinical practice but remains active in the Center for Global Surgery at University of Utah. Because of this relationship many faculty, fellows, and residents have availed themselves of teaching and training opportunities over the years.
In conjunction with IVUMed, residents and fellows have travelled all over the world. An experience in global surgery is a pivotal lesson, for many trainees, about the burden of surgical disease and how surgical care is delivered in a resource poor setting. In many cases, these trips spark a lifelong interest in global surgery and volunteerism.
The Division of Urology provides a scholarship for residents and reconstructive fellows once during their training if they are not able to obtain funding through the Western Section of the American Urologic Association or the Society for Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons. Residents usually take this trip during their PGY 3-5 year.
Austen Slade, MD – PGY 4 “I was fortunate to participate in the IVUMed trip to Hue, Vietnam early in 2020. The trip was oncology focused and included 4 attendings from major academic institutions. It was impressive to see how the local urologists utilize the limited resources they have to deliver great care to the Vietnamese people and added a new perspective on the management of many common problems. Learning alongside the visiting attendings was an invaluable experience that strengthened my operative skills and knowledge of urologic oncology. Perhaps the biggest benefit was the relationships built with both the local urologists and attendings in our group who in the few months following my trip have already served as valuable mentors. I recommend every resident participate in a trip like this if given the opportunity.”