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Department of Urology

Message from Jeffrey P. Weiss, MD, Chairman & Program Director

  • Message from The Academic Executive Committee

Photo of Dr. Macchia in his office


To our site visitors:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding our urology residency training program. Your interest is appreciated. To learn more about about department, please continue checking out our website which will provide you with a greater overview of our program.


SUNY Downstate Medical Center is one of the largest health science centers in the United States and one of four such campuses within the 64 unit State University of New York, the largest multi-level system of public higher education in the nation. SUNY Downstate Medical School is located on a 13-acre urban campus in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn. The medical school traces its origins over 153 years and was the first medical school to incorporate the teaching of medicine at the hospital bedside. The "Downstate" era began in 1954 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower laid the cornerstone for the Basic Sciences Building. The medical school now is the largest in N.Y. State. The complex was expanded in 1966 with the opening of Downstate University Hospital Brooklyn and is currently is the process of additional expansions. The School of Graduate Studies, the College of Health Related Professions, and the College of Nursing were also added that year. Today, SUNY Downstate is the focal point of a health-care network that encompasses 18 hospitals and research institutions and more than 40 health-related facilities in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and beyond.

The Association of American Medical Colleges ranked Downstate ninth nationally in the number of alumni who hold full-time faculty positions in other medical schools. In terms of the number of alumni who are department chairs at other medical schools, Downstate was ranked highly nationally. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school. Downstate ranks fourth in the nation for number of medical students accepted at urological residency training programs.

One of the co-winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology for 1998 was Robert F. Furchgott, Ph.D, Distinguished Professor and former chairperson, Department of Pharmacology. He received the prize for his the discovery of the role of nitric oxide in the body's control of its vascular system. His work has led to a virtual revolution amongst researchers in all disciplines worldwide, prompting the exploration of a vast new field with huge potential for significant discoveries. Another great achievement at SUNY Downstate was the invention of the MRI by Dr. Ray Damadian.

All decisions regarding our program are made by the Program Director in consultation with the Academic Executive Committee (AEC) and our residents.

Exciting new developments in the residency program include senior rotations at New York Methodist Hospital which boasts a strong program in laparo-robotic surgery and The Brooklyn Hospital Center, the latter hosting a highly productive surgical practice providing ample opportunity for case logging. The newest addition is a PGY-4 four month rotation in pediatric urology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, helmed by Dr. Douglas Canning (Department Chair) and Dr. Thomas Kolon (Program Director). We anticipate that the CHOP rotation will greatly enhance the experience in pediatric urology in one of the world’s pre-eminent healthcare centers for children.

Since July 1, 2003 our Urology Chief (U-4) residents have been rotating through the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as acting fellows. In this capacity our residents have all the responsibilities and operating privileges of regular fellows. This is in addition to the long established U-2 four-month rotation. The educational program at MSKCC is superb and features a weekly lecture on some aspect of basic science or clinical care of urologic malignancies. In addition there is a weekly multidisciplinary uro-oncology conference.

Dr. Joel Sheinfeld at MSKCC directs the fellowship program. Dr. Sheinfeld is one of the world's leading authorities on testicular cancer. This arrangement also enables us to improve resident education in medical oncology and radiation oncology. The MSKCC Department of Urology now has 17 urologic faculty including specialists in reconstructive urology, female urology and erectile dysfunction. All MSKCC urology staff are also SUNY Downstate faculty members.

Another exciting development in our department is the reconstruction of Kings County Hospital Center. A new bed tower was opened in 2001. The S building was opened in June 2006. It houses an ultramodern state-of-the-art operating room. It is home to the new emergency room and the diagnostic radiology suite. In December 2007, we moved into new facilities for the urology office space and outpatient area.  Dr. Brian McNeil is the steward of the newly established Uro-Oncologic Clinic.

Aside from MSKCC our core faculty are distributed at the various hospitals. Many of the core faculty have fellowship training. This staff is augmented by approximately 20 voluntary urologists. Although all areas of urology are covered competently, we have strengths in all aspects of urology, to include oncology, robotics, videourodynamics and voiding dysfunction, reconstructive surgery, percutaneous endourology, cryosurgery, lithotripsy, laparoscopic surgery, trauma, brachytherapy and microsurgery.

Dr. Brian K. McNeil, is Chief of Service in Urology at University Hospital of Brooklyn as well as steward of the Uro-Oncologic Clinic at KCHC. Dr. McNeil is assistant professor of urology and associate urology residency program director. He completed a clinical fellowship in urologic oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, following research fellowships in urologic oncology at both the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute and the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. McNeil has developed a very busy uro-oncology program at UHB and has taken the leadership role in establishing the new multidisciplinary DaVinci Si robotic program there.

Dr. Llewellyn Hyacinthe is Director of Urology at KCHC and Vice Chair of the Department of Urology for SUNY Downstate Medical Center. He has instituted a number of new programs and clinical services at KCHC. He also has a private practice at SUNY Downstate. Dr. Hyacinthe has maintained KCHC as the proving grounds for our “battle tested” GU housestaff in respect to care of the acutely injured patient.

Dr. Courtney Lee was appointed Assistant Professor of Urology at SUNY Downstate Medical School and is a member of the AEC. After graduating from Cornell Medical School, she completed her Urology Residency at SUNY Downstate Medical School. She completed a prestigious fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive urology at the Glickman Center at Cleveland Clinic in 2010 and joined our faculty here at SUNY Downstate upon fellowship completion. Dr. Lee is currently the head of Female Urology and Voiding Dysfunction at Kings County Hospita. Dr. Lee’s interests include female voiding dysfunction, urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, female urinary tract reconstruction, and painful bladder syndrome. She is a member of the American Urological Association, the Society of Women in Urology and the American Urogynecologic Society.

Dr. Nicholas Karanikolas joined our faculty in December 2006 following completion of his urology residency here at SUNY Downstate. He completed a 2.5 year fellowship in urologic oncology at MSKCC. Dr. Karanikolas is Local Program Director at the VA in Brooklyn. Dr. Karanikolas has gained special respect among our residents as an extraordinary teacher of the most difficult urological operations done anywhere.

Dr. Dhanan Etwaru is the Chairman of the Urology Department at The Brooklyn Hospital Center and Assistant Clinical Professor of Urology at SUNY Downstate Medical School. He is a graduate of Hunter College and went to medical school at SUNY-Stonybrook Medical Center. Prior to his Urological training he completed an internal medicine residency program at Winthrop University Hospital. He obtained his general surgical training and urological training at the SUNY-Downstate Medical Center and joined Brooklyn Hospital in 1995. He is currently board certified in both Internal Medicine and Urology. Dr. Etwaru has a particular interest in treatment of female voiding dysfunction, incontinence and minimally invasive treatments of kidney stones.

Dr. Wellman Cheung is Clinical Associate Professor of Urology. He also holds a dual appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Cheung joined Downstate Urology in 2003 and has remained as one of our clinical faculty since then. He is currently the chief of Female Urology and Voiding Dysfunction at Long Island College Hospital. Dr. Cheung is also licensed in Medical Acupuncture and provides alternative medical treatment to his patients. In addition to his expertise in voiding dysfunction and pelvic reconstructive surgery, Dr. Cheung has strong interests in basic science as well as translational research in voiding dysfunction. He has published in many peer review journals and hold 3 patents from his work related to gene expression and voiding dysfunction. He has an active collaboration with researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Dr. William Blank is fellowship trained in fertility/impotency/microsurgery. He is Chief of Service at the VA NY Harbor Brooklyn. He has outstanding skills in andrological operations and the patience to teach these to our residents.

Our residents and faculty live throughout the metropolitan New York area including Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Long Island and New Jersey. New York City is the safest city in America; despite the atrocity of 9/11 the city is full of energy, as usual. 

Brooklyn itself is a vibrant area today with a variety of excellent restaurants, diverse entertainment and nightlife activities. It is the birthplace of many of America’s great physicians. I am personally proud to be one of Brooklyn’s native sons. Its diversity makes it a microcosm of the world culturally. It is home to the Brooklyn Museum of Art (, which is the second largest museum in the United States and which houses a world class collection of Asian art. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is a wonderful attraction as well. It is home to an incredible Japanese garden, which is particularly impressive during the cherry blossom season. The website for the Brooklyn Historical Society is We even have our own beer! Check out Brooklyn has lots of trendy restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. The Williamsburg section has become what Greenwich Village once was, the bohemian home of NYC’s hip young crowd of artists, designers and musicians. The Zagat Guide lists many restaurants in Brooklyn.

I'm seeking medical students with high mental and physical energy and enthusiasm to join our program. By applying to our program you agree to contribute to the academic atmosphere of the department by proactive participation in our educational program and research efforts, including co-authorship of peer reviewed publications and acceptance of papers to be presented at local/national meetings.

This is an abbreviated overview of our department. Please understand that I will continue to make substantial changes in our program. Each year I distribute Department-wide Guidelines (DWG) which govern all aspects of resident activities. A copy is available upon request.


Jeffrey P. Weiss, MD, FACS
Professor and Chair
Department of Urology
SUNY Downstate Medical School
445 Lenox Road
Brooklyn, NY 11203

Academic Executive Committee Message

Thank you for your interest in SUNY Downstate Urology Residency Program.

These are exciting times for the department which is currently in a rapid growth phase. We have been most fortunate to have acquired three full time faculty members, Dr. Brian McNeil in Uro-oncology  and Adult Urology. Dr. McNeil continues to develop the urology practice at University Hospital of Brooklyn. Dr. Courtney Lee joined Urology service Chief Dr. Llewellyn Hyacinthe at Kings County Hospital Center after completing both her Urology residency at Downstate and the prestigious fellowship in Female and Reconstructive Urology at the Glickman Institute of the Cleveland Clinic.

Our Academic Executive Committee has grown to many faculty members representing multi-institutional , UHB Campus, (Dr. McNeil) and also the Uro-Oncology Clinic at KCHC , KCHC Campus ( Drs. Llewelyn Hyacinthe, Courtney Lee), the Brooklyn Hospital Center (Dr. Dhanan Etwaru) and the VA New York Harbor Brooklyn/St. Albans (Dr.  Jeffrey Weiss). Additional strong affiliates complete the mainstay of our program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (Dr. Joel Sheinfeld, Program Director), New York Methodist Hospital (Dr. Ivan Colon) and CHOP under (Dr. Thomas Kolon)

Clinical research at Downstate is generating much excitement with numerous publications, textbooks and abstracts arising from within our center and involving collaboration with multiple institutions both locally in the NYC area and internationally.

The best thing about our program is the superb group of GU residents who constitute the heart, soul and raison d’etre for our mission to produce the finest academic and practicing urologists in the world.

Enjoy your sojourn with us!


SUNY Downstate Medical School
Department of Urology A.E.C.