Education Events

Urology Graduation and Awards 2022

Urology residents with program director Erica Travel at graduation event.

The Department of Surgery congratulates the 2022 residency and fellowship graduates from the Division of Urologic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Urology faculty, staff and trainees gathered to celebrate the graduates at a banquet in the Charles F. Knight Executive Education & Conference Center on the Danforth Campus this June.

At the graduation banquet, the Division of Urologic Surgery honored chief residents Yifan Meng, MD, Alex Parker, MD, and Carrie Ronstrom, MD; urologic trauma and reconstruction fellow Shellee Ogawa, MD; and minimally invasive urology fellows Mark Biebel, MD, and Brijesh Patel, MD.

“Yifan, Alex, Carrie, Mark, Shellee, and Brijesh are all amazing individuals and friends for life. They are all tremendous role models for me,” said Chief of Urologic Surgery Sam Bhayani, MD, MS. Bhayani reminded the graduating residents and fellows to focus on caring for their patients, both in the operating room and during clinic visits. “Your reputation is made while the patient is looking at you for your leadership and your compassion.”

Two distinguished visiting professors also offered the graduates words of wisdom. Former chief of urology Gerald Andriole Jr., MD, who served as 2022 John R. Caulk, MD, Visiting Professor, advised: be honest, be persistent, and find a way to enjoy what you are doing. Justin J. Cordonnier, MD, Visiting Professor Mohamad Allaf, MD, encouraged the graduates to reflect on the knowledge, confidence and vision they have gained throughout their training.

“I really feel that those of you who are remaining at WashU are staying at a very propitious time,” said Andriole, who is now director of urology in the National Capital Region at the Brady Urologic Institute for Johns Hopkins Medicine. “The circumstances, growth, innovation and energy your leadership has will pay great dividends in the future.”

  • Bhayani at podium in front of audience at urology graduation in banquet room
  • Graduating urology fellows Ogawa, Patel and Biebel
  • Urology graduates Meng, Parker and Rostrom with program director Traxel and gifts

Urologic Surgery Residency Program Director Erica Traxel, MD, looked back on the journey residents take from their first year as interns to graduating five years later.

“Doctors Meng, Parker and Ronstrom: congratulations on finishing your residency,” Traxel said. “You are accomplished surgeons, insightful doctors and very kind human beings, and I wish you every success.”

Throughout the event, faculty and trainees shared stories, laughs and tears as the residents celebrated the culmination of five long years of world-class training in urologic surgery.

The event also marked the graduation of nurse practitioner fellow Mandi Tuhro, MSN, APN, FNP.

“The Division of Urologic Surgery is part of a small but elite group of academic urology programs that offers a nurse practitioner fellowship,” said Patient Safety and Quality Coordinator Vicky Peck, RN. “Experience is the teacher of all things, and experience is exactly what our fellowship provides. Our former fellows have gone on to practice in urology across the country.”

Read more: Peck and Traxel Receive BJH Quality Improvement Award

The graduation celebration also included two days of lectures and case presentations from the Caulk and Cordonnier Visiting Professors. During the visiting professorships, trainees and faculty received annual awards for their accomplishments.

Grant Henning, MD, received the 2022 Resident in Excellence Award. Connor McCormick, MD, and Carrie Ronstrom, MD, received Certificates of Scholarship for the highest scores by a junior and senior resident respectively on the 2021 in-service examination. Laura Lee, MD, received the 2022 Morris Abrams Award, given to the most compassionate resident in the division. Assistant Professor of Surgery Lewis Thomas IV, MD, received the 2022 Charles B. Manley Teaching Award, voted upon by all trainees in the division.

Congratulations to the graduating urology residents and fellows and recipients of the annual awards!

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