Leading UF urologist appointed to elite organization

Johannes W. Vieweg, M.D., founding chair of the College of Medicine's department of urology, was recently selected to be a member of the most elite organization in the field of urology. Photo by Sarah Kiewel

A leading University of Florida urologist and expert on prostate disease has been selected as a member of the most prestigious organization in the field of urology, a 125-year-old society limited to just 75 active members at a time.

Johannes Vieweg, M.D., chairman of the UF College of Medicine department of urology and the Wayne and Marti Huizenga Eminent Scholar chair in urology research, recently became the second UF urologist named a member of the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons or AAGS. Just a handful of urologists in Florida have ever been selected for membership in the elite group.

“It is very difficult to get in,” said R. Dixon Walker, M.D., a UF professor emeritus of pediatric urology who became a member of the group in 1988 and is now a fellow. “Most people don’t make it and they are bitterly disappointed. It is a high honor. I am very happy for him. It is a recognition of the great job he is doing here at the university.”

The AAGUS, which held its first meeting in 1887, is dedicated to the study of diseases of the genitourinary system. Its active membership is limited to 75 urologic surgeons from the United States and Canada who have distinguished themselves in urology. There are 11,000 board-certified urologists in the United States, according to the American Board of Urology.

“We congratulate Dr. Vieweg on such a prestigious honor,” said Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the UF College of Medicine. “It is very exciting for the College of Medicine that an esteemed organization such as the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons recognizes the expertise and talents of our faculty.”

Vieweg came to UF in 2006 from Duke University to found the department of urology, formerly a division within the department of surgery. Under his leadership, the department has grown steadily and now includes experts in robotic surgery, female and reconstructive urology, male infertility and prostate disease. Shands at UF currently ranks 23rd nationally for urology care ― higher than any other Florida hospital ― in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2011-2012 Best Hospitals guide.

Vieweg also serves as the chair of research for the American Urologic Association. His research focuses on developing new treatments for prostate and kidney cancer and is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

To become a member of the AAGUS, urologists must be nominated by a current member and approved by two-thirds of the group. New selections for membership are made only when other active members age out of the group. At age 65, active members become fellows.

“Knowing how selective the AAGUS is, I was thrilled to hear about it when they voted,” Vieweg said. “This is an immense honor and is reflective of the stellar faculty and program we have here in the University of Florida department of urology.”