Urology Residency

Overview of the Program

Our Residency Training Program in Urology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School aims to provide residents with a wide breadth of experience managing medical and surgical diseases of the genitourinary tract as well as opportunities in pursuing basic and clinical research in all domains of urology. 

We are a high volume, tertiary care center that specializes in complex oncologic and reconstructive surgery and in minimally-invasive, laparoscopic and robotic surgeries. We perform a high volume of robotic radical prostatectomies, radical cystectomies both open and robotic, with urinary tract reconstruction, radical and partial nephrectomies, both open and robotic, retroperitoneal lymph node dissections in the primary and post-chemotherapy settings, and percutaneous nephrolithotomies.

Our residents benefit from working closely with faculty at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, which is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the state and enjoy a 6 month protected resarch block to pursue basic and/or clinic research in their subspecialty interest that aligns with their career goals.  We provide a graded increase in patient care responsibility, operative autonomy and team leadership.  By providing two years of chief resident-level training (PGY-4 and PGY-5), our residents graduate with high surgical volume, excellent experience and confidence, and exceptional clinical and operative acumen.

We accept two residents per year into a five-year program. Our main goal is to provide a nurturing environment in which residents can acquire the surgical, medical, research, and decision making skills to become outstanding urologists.

By their chief year, our residents will have mastered the ACGME competencies (patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice) and have acquired the requisite leadership, surgical, and research skills to pursue either a career in academia or private practice.


Alain Kaldany, MD
Chief Resident
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Undergraduate: Cornell University

Benjamin Lichtboun, MD
Chief Resident
Medical School: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Undergraduate: University of Maryland - College Park

John Pfail, MD
Senior Resident
Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Undergraduate: SUNY Stony Brook

Rachel Passarelli, MD
Senior Resident
Medical School: NY Medical College Undergraduate: Amherst College

Melissa Moran, DO
General Surgery Preliminary
Medical School: Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - NY
Undergraduate: Wake Forest University, NC

Jennifer Sykes, MD
Junior Resident
Medical School: Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
Undergraduate: Barnard College

Melinda Fu, MD
Junior Resident
Medical School: George Washington University School of Medicine and Sciences
Undergraduate: University of Maryland - College Park

Raeesa Islam, MD
Junior Resident
Medical School: University of Pittsburgh
Undergraduate: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Neeta D'Souza, MD
General Surgery Preliminary
Medical School: SUNY Downstate College of Medicine
Undergraduate: The University of Chicago

Kristen Duncan, MD
General Surgery Preliminary
Medical School: Boston University School of Medicine
Undergraduate: Princeton University

Clinical Training

  • The PGY-1 year is split between general surgery and urology. Each PGY-1 spends 6 months on urology and 6 months on general surgery services at RWJUH.

    This year provides a well-rounded preliminary experience with exposure to surgical oncology, trauma, emergency general surgery, and the surgical intensive care unit. The 6 months of urology prepares each individual well for the start of Urology 1 year.

    Residents spend the full year at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and rotate three months at a time on urology or various general surgery services.

  • The PGY-2 urology junior resident spends a total of 6 months at RWJUH and 6 months at RWJUH-Somerset. The adult urology rotation at RWJUH includes heavy focus on diagnosis, preoperative evaluation, care, and medical/surgical management of a wide breadth of urologic conditions. Operative experience mostly includes cystoscopic and ureteroscopic cases, prostate biopsy, and other minor surgical procedures involving inguinal or scrotal region.

    At Somerset, a PGY-2 and PGY-4 are paired to run a service encompassing 7 private urologists. Good exposure is provided with both simple and complex urologic procedures including robotic surgery.

  • The PGY 3 Urology residents spends total of 6 months on the pediatric service at the Bristol Myers-Squibb Children's Hospital as well as 6 months on research elective.

    During the six month rotation, the resident becomes comfortable managing common and complex pediatric problems including hypospadias, vesicoureteral reflux and neurogenic bladder dysfunction. Two pediatric urology faculty in addition to private pediatric urologists provide a busy and extensive operative experience. During the PGY-3 year the resident is also exposed to more complex adult endoscopic cases and begins to perform minimally-invasive, robotic and laparoscopic cases.

    The PGY-3 spends a total of 6 months dedicated to basic or clinical science research. The resident selects research projects with his/her mentor that based upon the interest of the resident. The resident is encouraged to present the research at a national meeting and submit the completed work for publication. During this rotation, the resident spends one day per week under the guidance of Dr. Hari Tunuguntla to learn the fundamentals of urodynamic evaluation.

  • The PGY 4 residents spend 12 months as "Chief" Resident at Princeton and Somerset.

    The Princeton 6 month rotation, provides the resident exposure to a high volume private practice experience as a Chief Resident. The resident participates in the outpatient and inpatient management of all patients with a concentration on medical and surgical management of BPH, urinary tract calculi, and benign and malignant neoplasms of the genitourinary tract. 

    The PGY-4 also spends 6 months as "Chief" at RWJUH-Somerset. This rotation is heavily weighted towards minimally invasive and robotic surgery and allows the resident to gain confidence through independent learning and skills development. The Somerset operative experience includes a large volume of laparoscopic and robotic cases under the supervision of our fellowship trained robotic clinical faculty. As chief, the resident is responsible for teaching and guiding the PGY-2 through surgical cases and inpatient consultations.

    PGY-4 year prepares the resident for his or her duties as Chief Resident.

  • The Chief Year is spent on the two adult Urology services at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

    Each service is a high volume operative service with a slightly different focus. The minimally invasive service allows the chief to refine his or her laproscopic and robotic skills. Each chief will spend a large amount of time in the operating room perfecting robotic partial and radical nephrectomy, robotic prostatectomy, robotic cystectomy, pyeloplasty, PCNL, and advanced minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of BPH. Oncology service also includes excellent exposure to robotic and laparoscopic surgery. In addition, this service affords greater exposure to open radical cystectomy, partial nephrectomy, radical nephrectomy (including IVC thrombectomy), as well as RPLND.

    Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is a busy tertiary referral center for complex urologic disease. The chief residents supervise the care in the weekly outpatient urology clinic and becomes a mentor for the junior resident team. Chief residents are expected to participate in the workup and management of all patients on the service, coordinate the activities of the junior residents and medical students, and serve as the administrative executives for the day to day operations of the residency program.

    • Indication's Conference- Every Wednesday at 8 am CINJ auditorium B (no 1st Wednesday  of the month)
    • Morbidity and Mortality- M&M - 1st Wednesday of the month8 am CINJ auditorium B
    • Grand Rounds - Wednesday 7am (no GR 1st Wednesday -M&M at 8am) CINJ auditorium B
    • Resident Education - Every Wednesday at 9am

    Resident led lectures, AUA updates, AUA videos, guideline review, in-service preparation

    • Genitourinary Tumor Board – Every other Thursday 8am CINJ auditorium A/B
      Multidisciplinary discussion of genitourinary malignancies attended by medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, radiology, urology
    • Journal Club – 8am 2nd Wednesday of the month CINJ auditorium B
      Discussion of the months Journal of Urology, Urology, and relevant articles that appear in journals of general medical interest (NEJM, Nature Medicine, J. of Clinical Oncology, etc.) 2 times per year at each outside rotation site


Residents have six months of dedicated research time during their PGY3 year to pursue interests that align with their career goals. Opportunities include basic science research, health services research, and clinical trials and residents are offered full access to resources within Rutgers University, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers School of Public Health, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, among others. Though our residents are offered six months of protected research time, the majority are productive thoroughout their residency and gain experience in first authorship at major urologic and scientific journals and as lead speakers at national meetings, such as the AUA, GU ASCO, ASCO, SWIU, and SUO.

A researcher looks into a microscope in a lab

Subinternship Information

Rutgers welcomes visiting students for an advanced clerkship in Urology. Under the guidance of Dr. Haris Ahmed, our faculty clerkship director in urology, students will experience the entire breadth of specialties within urology: oncology, pediatric urology, stone disease, erectile dysfunction, pelvic reconstruction and voiding dysfunction.

For questions and additional information, contact Haris Ahmed, MD, Clerkship Director or Theresa Couzo, Program Supervisor.

Doctor nurse followup data with medical examination document for patient health check in hospital or clinic.

Contact Us

Thomas L. Jang, MD, MPH, FACS
Program Director (Urology Residency Training Program)
Associate Chief of Urologic Oncology
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery
Director, Program in Testicular Cancer & Retroperitoneal Surgery
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street, Suite 4560
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681

Theresa Couzo, C-TAGME
Residency Coordinator
Twitter: @rwjurology