Department News

Bradley F. Schwartz, DO, FACS, professor of urology and director of the Center for Laparoscopy and Endourology at the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, has received the Teaching Excellence Award, an honor bestowed upon a tenured or tenured-track faculty member in the Southern Illinois University System. In addition to the award, he will receive the permanent title of Distinguished Teacher.

Bradley F. Schwartz, DO, FACS,"Dr. Schwartz is an extraordinary educator," wrote Dean and Provost Jerry Kruse, MD, MSPH, in a letter nominating Schwartz. "His dedication to teaching moves beyond the traditional and into the innovative and cross-generational. His creativity, passion, and relationship building are recognized locally, nationally and internationally."

The award recognizes faculty who demonstrate outstanding teaching, high-quality classroom performance, innovation, and "commitment to student learning outcomes and inclusive excellence in education."

Schwartz has received numerous awards for his teaching. In 2015, he was named the School of Medicine's Educator of the Year. He has earned the Department of Surgery's Excellence in Teaching Award for 11 years and the department's Research Mentor of the Year four times.

In his statement of philosophy on teaching, Schwartz wrote, "Nowhere in the country is medical and surgical education more valued than here at the SIU School of Medicine. It is on this stage that I am fortunate to teach the next generation of doctors. The value and philosophy of teaching cannot be learned or taught - it has to be felt on a visceral level." He explains if a physician treats 25,000 patients in a practice lifetime, it is admirable; if a physician trains 20 residents and 100 medical students "the impact on the population as a whole is far greater" and influences future generations.

One student wrote that Schwartz is a "cornerstone" to the program, who "helps develop operative and critical thinking skills that will serve us throughout our career as surgeons." Another wrote that Schwartz is "not only a great educator but a good role model as a physician. He takes great care in his patients and treats them all like they are family."

Kruse wrote that Schwartz is internationally recognized as an "innovator" in surgical simulation and a leader "in teaching techniques associated with robotic surgery."

Schwartz has used innovative thinking to create simulations and skills laboratories that are highly technical but also cost-effective, and he is committed to hands-on, practical learning environments for students and residents. Schwartz extends his teaching focus; opening up his simulation labs to others - ranging from grade school students to retired physicians. Schwartz has two patents for devices he has been working on for the past decade with two more pending.

He joined the School of Medicine in 2003 and was promoted to professor in 2009. Board certified in urology, he specializes in minimally invasive surgery, laparoscopy and stone disease. Schwartz earned his doctor of osteopathy degree from the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center in 1990 and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Hamline University in 1986.

After graduating from the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center, Schwartz continued in the U.S. Army, completing his urologic residency training at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash. He holds the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.

New prostate treatment available

A new medical procedure is now available in central Illinois for treating a common male malady. Water vapor therapy can be done in an outpatient setting to treat Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate. BPH is present in the majority of men over age 40, and more than 90 percent of men over age 80, according to the National Institutes of Health. It affects the frequency and ease of urination. SIU's urology group, led by Dr. Kevin McVary, was one of the country's first test sites for the device's clinical trials. The treatment was approved by the FDA last winter. SIU will now be instructing urologists from around the country on how to perform this technique. The innovative technology is minimally invasive and can be performed in clinic or an outpatient surgery center depending on overall health of the patient. more...


2nd annual Midwest Healthcare Quality Alliance (MHQA) symposium. The event will be held on September 22, 2016 at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation (MCLI). The first annual symposium was titled "Fundamentally Human: An Innovative Exploration of Patient Safety" and delivered a highly successful and innovative educational experience that used interactive lectures, small group discussion, and simulation exercises to explore diagnostic errors, human errors, and patient safety topics in addition to specific quality and performance improvement presentations.

Please block your calendars on September 22, 2016 for the second annual MHQA symposium. The agenda and other details will be released in the near future.