General Requirements:

Applicants must be a graduate of a medical school approved by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or a school of osteopathy approved by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation of the American Osteopathic Association, and have completed a urology residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada [RCPS(C)].  ACGME training programs in urology are described in the American Medical Association Graduate Medical Education Directory, Section II, “Essentials of Accredited Residencies in Graduate Medical Education: Institutional and Program Requirements.”

Postgraduate training requirements: The American Board of Urology mandates a minimum of 5 clinical years of postgraduate medical training. Training must include:

  • A PGY1 (URO 1) year in an ACGME or RCPS(C) approved surgical or urology program including the following rotations:
    • 3 months of general surgery
    • 3 months of additional surgical training. Recommended rotations include surgical critical care, trauma, colorectal surgery, transplantation, plastic/reconstructive surgery. Alternate rotations may be accepted on a case-by-case basis based on educational value.
    • Minimum 3 months of urology
    • 3 months of other rotations, not including dedicated scholarly activity. This time may include additional urology, other surgical rotations, or appropriate nonsurgical rotations such as interventional radiology, nephrology, and anesthesiology.
  • 4 years in an ACGME or RCPS(C) approved urology program, including at least 12 months as a chief resident in urology with the appropriate clinical responsibility and under supervision during the last two years of training. The resident must have a minimum total of 48 months dedicated to urology training. Up to 3 months of urology in the PGY1 year may be counted toward the 48 months.
  • For the above requirements, a month is defined as a calendar month. Up to 3 months of scholarly activity is allowed, excluding the PGY1 and chief years.
  • For residents who completed 3 months of urology in the PGY1 year, up to 6 months of dedicated scholarly activity is allowed, excluding the PGY1 and chief year.
  • A resident who has completed a PGY-1 year in a ACGME-approved general surgery program that included 3 months of general surgery and 3 months of additional surgical training as described above prior to entering urology residency training has fulfilled the "general surgery" requirements. A minimum of 48 months of clinical urology training must be completed in the urology residency.
  • All rotations must have been approved by the candidate’s program director.

Research rotations cannot interfere with the mandated 12 months of general surgery or the 48 months of clinical urology.

Residents must comply with the guidelines in place at the time he/she enrolled in the program.

All rotations listed above that are not part of the core urology training must have been approved by the candidate’s program director. As part of the core urology training, the candidate must have completed at least 12 months as a chief resident in urology with the appropriate clinical responsibility and under supervision during the last two years of training in an ACGME- approved program.

Canadian Medical School Graduates:

Physicians who attended medical school in Canada and received all pre-urology and urology residency training in approved Canadian programs must satisfactorily complete the same training as listed above. Certification by the RPCS(C) is not required for the Qualifying (Part 1) Examination, but is required to be admissible to the Certifying (Part 2) Examination.


International Medical Graduate (IMG):

Exam applicants who graduated from medical schools outside the United States or Canada who provide an equivalent medical background and

            A) Have completed an ACGME-approved urology residency and the prerequisite ACGME-approved pre-urology training in the United States may qualify for examination,               or

            B) Have completed a RCPS(C)-approved urology residency in Canada will be reviewed on a case by case basis.  All such applicants must have a valid certificate from the Education Committee for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).


IMG Alternative Pathway to Certification:

Entrance into the certification process differs for individuals who completed a urology residency program not approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). For these International Medical Graduates (IMG), an alternate pathway into the certification process is available. However, The American Board of Urology (ABU) considers this situation to be extraordinary and approves or disallows entrance into this alternate pathway on a case-by-case basis. The requirements for application and entrance into the certification process are listed below.


1) Currently employed in the US at an academic center on the core teaching faculty of a residency program approved by the ACGME.

2) Hold the rank of full professor. 

3) At least 7 years of experience in a full-time faculty position in a program with an residency program accredited by the ACGME or the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada (RCPS-C) providing outstanding clinical and educational service in such a program.  This service could have been accumulated at more than one such program, including in Canada.


  1. The applicant must supply 4 letters of recommendation from academic urologists in active practice, including the Department Chair (or Division Chief), at least one other senior faculty member from that institution, and two external letters from senior faculty members at another academic institution attesting to the applicants contributions in the areas of  residency/fellow education, scholarship and patient care.
  2. Documentation of extraordinary scholarship and evidence for continued contributions, as well as national recognition, in one or more of the following areas: Research, Education, Clinical Care, Program Development, Service (See application form that can be downloaded here).
    • o Evidence of scholarship in the above areas are: original research publication record, grant funding, organization and/or participation in national and/or international meetings, invitations to serve as visiting professor or give lectureships, professional society awards, appointments to national and/or international committees for policy or guideline development, editorial positions, educational leadership positions, curriculum development and/or design and implementation of educational programs, mentoring of residents and fellows, leadership and/or participation in clinical trials, etc
  3. Copy of current CV (Download Format).


Transferring Between Programs:

A resident may only transfer once during the urology portion of training and the last two years of residency training must be spent in the same institution. A resident who wishes to transfer must notify the ABU in writing six months in advance of the transfer and copy the current Program Director and Designated Institutional Officer. The Program Director from the recipient program must send a letter to the ABU verifying there is an appropriate residency slot in the program for the resident to fill.


Leaves of Absence:

Each residency program may provide sick leave and vacation leave for the resident, in accordance with institutional policy. However, a resident must work at least forty-six (46) weeks during each year of residency.  In other words, each year of credit must include forty-six weeks of full-time urologic education.

Vacation or various other leave may not be accumulated to reduce the total training requirement. Should circumstances occur which keep a resident from working the required forty-six weeks in one year, the program director must submit a plan to the ABU for approval on how the training time will be made up, and an extension of the residency may be required.

Leave for educational/scientific conferences are at the discretion of the program director.


The American Board of Urology (ABU) is organized to encourage study, improve standards, and promote competency in the practice of Urology. The Board evaluates candidates who are duly licensed to practice medicine, and arranges and conducts examinations for the purpose of certification, subspecialty certification, recertification, and ongoing Lifelong Learning. Certificates are conferred by the Board to candidates who successfully complete all requirements for a given certificate...

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