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Urological Surgery

History of Urology

The History of Urology at Albany Medical Center

The Division of Urology at Albany Medical Center has a long and storied history.  Drs. John E. Heslin and William A. Milner founded the training program in urology at the Albany Medical Center Hospital in 1941.  Both played an important historical role in urology, Dr. Heslin being president of the American Urological Association in 1961 and Dr. Milner being president of the Northeast Section of the American Urological Association in 1957.  Of particular note was the fact that Dr. Milner became recognized as one of the best transurethral surgeons in the world.  Residents from all over, including a regular rotation of residents from Columbia University in New York City, came through Albany to learn the technique.  Also prominent in the Division was Dr. William B. Garlick, a partner in this practice who was elected as both Secretary and President of the American Urological Association.  In addition to being a great clinician, Dr. Garlick transformed the annual meeting of the American Urological Association to the format that is used today.
In 1970, Dr. Marvin Woodruff became the first full-time academic division head.  Dr. Woodruff trained at the University of Michigan under Dr. Reed Nesbit and Dr. Jack Lapides and brought a renewed interest in neurourology to Albany.  His tenure was shortened due to health problems.  Dr. Alan Bennett assumed the position of division head in 1979 when Dr. Woodruff resigned for reasons of ill health.  Numerous outstanding local urologists trained in the program during these years and, in addition to those who have remained active in the area, there are numerous other well-known urologists who now practice throughout the country and are widely recognized in academic urology, especially pediatric urology.  Dr. Bennett's personal interest was in the field of erectile dysfunction and he developed an international reputation in this area.  The program suffered from poor relations with the medical center and many faculty left in a period of upheaval in the early 1990s.  In 1994, Dr. James Mandell, a pediatric urologist, was named Division Head of Urology.  It was under his direction that the program developed dramatically and reached its current form.  In a good move for the Albany Medical College, but a somewhat disruptive one for the division, Dr. Mandell became Dean of the Medical College in 1996.  Dr. Barry Kogan, who is also a pediatric urologist, replaced him in 1997.  The program has continued to expand, not only clinically, but academically, at a rapid pace since that time. 

In addition to Dr. Kogan, who is known nationally and internationally in pediatric urology, the current full-time faculty include: Dr. Elise De, who completed her residency at Boston University and her fellowship at University of Texas, Houston and specializes in Female-Neuro-and Reconstructive-Urology, Dr. Hugh Fisher, a long time member of the faculty, who practices urologic oncology, Dr. Ronald Kaufman who has been on the faculty for 15 years and specializes in urologic oncology, laparoscopy, robotics, general urology and erectile dysfunction, Dr. Badar Mian who joined the faculty in 2001 after completing fellowship training in urological oncology at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Dr. Mark White, who in 1998 graduated from the urology residency-training program, and is practicing general urology in the division with a special interest in endourology.  In 2010, Dr. Jean Hollowell joined the faculty, specializing in pediatric urology. She did her residency at the Lahey Clinic and fellowships in Pediatric Urology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London.  In 2010, The Division was fortunate to have recruited Dr. Barry Stein, a former chair of Urology at Brown University to join us as an active member of the academic faculty. He practices full-time at the Stratton Veteran's Administration Hospital.  Finally, the Division has a close working relationship with Robert M. Levin, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology, Urology and Pathology and one of the world’s leading researchers in bladder function and dysfunction.  In addition, we have an active collaboration with J. Andre Melendez, PhD, Assistant Professor, Center for Immunology and Microbial Diseases, Albany Medical College, as well as Dr. Igor Roninson, Senior Scientist and Director of Cancer Research at the Ordway Research Institute and Dr. Gennady Glinski, Senior Scientist at Ordway Research Institute.  We have also developed increasingly close ties with Dr. Ralph Buttyan, a PhD with numerous grants and an extensive interest in prostate cancer research who is a Senior Scientist at Ordway Research Institute. 

In January, 2004, the clinical programs in the Division became an autonomous business unit within Community Care Physicians, P.C. This merger of the Urology program with the largest multi-specialty group in the area is continuing to enhance our programs.  Not only has this helped to develop new referral sources, but it has stabilized our staffing and resources which in turn enhances the development of our academic programs.  In addition, the academic programs of the Division are being enhanced through the development of the Capital Region Medical Research Foundation.