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Authors > Joseph A. Smith, Jr., MD

Joseph A. Smith, Jr., MD discusses the new edition of Hinman’s Atlas of Urologic Surgery and what’s new in the field of urologic surgery.

About Hinman’s Atlas of Urologic Surgery

Surgery and surgical techniques have always been my primary interests. It’s no secret that I like to be in the operating room and like to do surgery; but one learns from others, and one of the most important parts of learning is knowing anatomy, knowing techniques, and something like a surgical atlas. I remember when I started in urology; Hinman’s Atlas of Urologic Surgery was the most useful text that I found. It’s an interesting text because what applied 20 or 30 years ago still applies now for some procedures, but for many others, not only do we delete chapters because there are operations that no longer apply, but we have to add new chapters for entirely new approaches, or modify prior chapters to update them with the latest standards and the new techniques.

Urologic Surgery Today

All fields have been impacted surgically by minimally invasive approaches, but probably none more so than urology. And although there’s certainly a role for open surgery — and as a matter of fact, for some procedures that’s still the only role — there’s no doubt that the minimally invasive approach has taken over. It requires an entirely different skill set for surgeons; it requires entirely different experience and knowledge, obviously different equipment; so our specialty’s really transformed itself, and I think for the better of our patients.

The Bottom Line Is Better Care

Work on a text like this is part of a dedication to patient care. You can advance your personal surgical skills, but teaching, imparting those skills to others, is important. We all learn from one another: there may be one operation in which I have particular expertise, but there are many others that I may be called upon to perform where someone else has more expertise. Being able to read about their experience, being able to learn from their experience as imparted through a text like Hinman’s, allows us to take better care of our patients, and in the end that’s what we all try to do.


Joseph Smith, Jr., MD is the William L. Bray Professor and Chairman within the Department of Urologic Surgery at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is recognized as a leading educator and researcher in the field, and published extensively. He is author of Robotics in Urologic Surgery and the third edition of Hinman’s Atlas of Urologic Surgery.

Dr. Smith holds an MD from the University of Tennessee, Memphis. He completed a residency in surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital at the University of Texas, a residency in urology at the University of Utah, and a fellowship in urologic oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He has served as president of the Society for Urologic Oncology, is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and has served on numerous boards within the organization, and has been active on boards and committees within the American Urological Association, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Society of University of Urologists, and others.