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Dr Nikolavsky & Dr Shapiro with Mr Woodin, the GURS Fellowship sponsor
Dr. Nikolavsky & Dr. Sterling with Mr Woodin, the GURS Fellowship sponsor

International Rotation Opportunity

Reconstructive Urology Fellows at SUNY Upstate have an opportunity for an international surgical rotation. Thanks to Mr. Woodin who generously established a Reconstructive Fellows' International Rotation Fund, our Fellows are able to spend one week performing reconstructive surgeries under the guidance of world-renowned surgeons abroad. 

Starting in November 2021 our Fellows have visited Dr. Erick Ramirez-Perez and Dr. Damian Lopez in Mexico and performed numerous complex reconstructive surgeries with them in Mexico City, Merida and Monterrey as well as Cuernavaca, Torreon State, Mexico.

Other international opportunities and locations are being planned.

Previous Fellowship Experiences

Elizabeth Bearrick (2023-2024)

My recent international elective trip to Mexico City was an extraordinary journey made possible by the generous support of Mr. Woodin. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to immerse myself in the surgeries in Mexico City and learn reconstructive urology in a different setting.

Throughout the experience, I was profoundly inspired by the dedication of Dr. Erick and Dr. Damien. Their unwavering commitment to improving healthcare outcomes in their community reaffirmed my own passion for the field of reconstructive urology. The opportunity to perform complex reconstructive cases that we often don’t see here in the US has left a lasting mark on me that has augmented my training. The trip not only enriched my professional growth but has also personally has grown my circle of mentorship.

I am very grateful to Dr. Nikolavsky for encouraging and supporting this trip as well as Mr. Woodin for supporting this important endeavor.

Jason Elyaguov (2022-2023)

My external rotation in Mexico was a phenomenal experience with a team that so graciously welcomed me. I must offer my sincerest thank you to Dr. Erick Ramirez Perez for offering a truly eye-opening experience by first taking me under his wing and then trusting me to fly solo.

I was able to travel there alone, achieving first-hand exposure and subsequent autonomy in a diverse set of urethral reconstructive surgeries. Performing “skin-to-skin” complex cases across 7 different clinical sites was grueling but so worth it! I’ll never take this opportunity for granted, none of which would have been possible if it weren’t for my stateside mentor Dr. Dmitriy Nikolavsky’s foundation.

This connection, both professional and personal, will last a lifetime so I mean it when I say “hasta pronto!”

Joshua Sterling (2021-2022)

The international away elective made possible by Mr. Woodin is an unforgettable experience which fosters relationships both foreign and domestic, provides a surgical service to a region seriously lacking in reconstructive urologists, and is a lot of fun.

Through this trip I built professional relationships and expanded the number of urologists I call mentors, both of which I lean on as a new reconstructive attending. I was taken out of my personal and clinical comfort zones and needed to adapt to match the facilities and resources available without compromising clinical care. I have no doubts that I am a better surgeon and physician after completing this elective rotation.

In addition to the numerous professional benefits, I made lifelong friendships with amazing people I would have never known otherwise.