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Transitions in Leadership, Pediatric Urology Fellowship

John Woodard, Edwin Smith, Wolfgang Cerwinka

John Woodard, Edwin Smith, Wolfgang Cerwinka

March 2016

When pediatric urology pioneer John Woodard, MD, established Emory University's two-year pediatric urology fellowship in 1974, it was the first program of its kind in the nation. Dr. Woodard was director of pediatric urology at the Emory University School of Medicine and chief of urology at Egleston Children's Hospital for 25 years, and served as the primary pediatric urology referral not only for Atlanta, but for virtually the entire Southeast. He was also a member of the Emory team that performed Georgia's first kidney transplant in 1966. The example he set for his trainees was prodigious, particularly considering he was one of the first urologists in the country to define himself as a full-time pediatric urologist. Dr. Woodard retired in 1999.

An Emory alumnus who received his MD and did his general surgery residency, urology residency, and pediatric urology fellowship at Emory, Edwin Smith, MD, took over direction of the fellowship in 1997. He is a member of Georgia Urology and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). Despite such conditions as tightening budgets and an increasing number of competing alternatives throughout the country, the devotion to training held by Dr. Smith and the other attending urologists combined to maintain the fellowship's position as a top-tier program. In particular, Dr. Smith's attention to advancing the quality of the fellows' educational experience contributed to the program receiving its first ACGME accreditation in 2000, an accreditation that was recently renewed for ten years. In 2015, Dr. Smith received Emory Urology's Outstanding Contribution to Resident Education Award.

"I cherished the opportunity to enhance Dr. Woodard's vision and train the next generation of outstanding pediatric urologists at what remains the only pediatric urology fellowship in Georgia," Dr. Smith says.

Wolfgang Cerwinka, MD, who completed the Emory pediatric urology fellowship in 2006 and is also a member of Georgia Urology and CHOA, was appointed the new director in January 2016. Dr. Cerwinka received his MD from Karl Franzens University Graz, Austria, completed his residency at the University of Miami, and did fellowships in molecular and cellular physiology at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He also conducts research in stem cell biology and tissue engineering.

"Being a graduate of the fellowship, I am extremely gratified to apply the knowledge and expertise I gained here to guide the program's future graduates," he says. "I will do my best to mirror Dr. Smith's successful leadership to master the challenges that lay ahead."

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