AUA Summit - AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award

AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award

The AUA History Committee established the Retrospectroscope Award as a way to celebrate achievements in the preservation of urologic history. It is awarded to the winner of the previous year's History Forum contest for the best paper and presentation. This award consists of a nicely cased, refurbished Brown-Buerger Cystoscope and $1000 honorarium supported by the William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History.

About the Award

AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award
Rainer M.E. Engel, MD
Curator, William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History
American Urological Association

Earl Nation as AUA President, 1977

Earl Nation as AUA President, 1977

This new award all started some years ago when my assistant and I were entering our instrument collection into a database. Soon we found that one instrument came up repeatedly in our collection: the Brown-Buerger Cystoscope and this prompted numerous questions. What was so special about this instrument, and why did we have so many? Obviously this particular cystoscope was of some significance. It is because of this significance that the AUA History Committee has created a new award for the AUA—the Retrospectroscope Award, which will be given for the first time at the 2006 AUA Annual Meeting in Atlanta. Fittingly, this award is a nicely cased, refurbished Brown-Buerger cystoscope.

So, why the cystoscope? This instrument was the workhorse of American urologists. Though now found in fiber-optic, highly technical varieties, the cystoscope has a rich history and celebrates its bicentennial this year. The history of the Brown-Buerger cystoscope predates even the AUA—and starts with Reinhold Wappler, who emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1890 as a repair technician before founding the Wappler Electric Company, which pioneered the development of high-frequency electric devices for medical use.

At the request of many New York genito-urinary surgeons, Wappler began to repair their German cystoscopes, and, encouraged by those surgeons, he started to design American-made endoscopic instruments. Wappler merged his instrument company with Wappler Electric to create American Cystoscope Makers, Inc. Wappler later worked with Tilden F. Brown, an early intern at Mount Sinai in New York, to develop and patent a better lens system. This system, created with the help of Bausch and Lomb, gave the cystoscope an enlarged field of vision.

Leo Buerger grew up in New York, where he too received his medical education. Early on, he began to work on improvements to the existing cystoscope, and using Brown's instrument, created a new design with Wappler's help. While Buerger insisted adamantly that Brown's name should not be attached to this new creation, Wappler insisted on the name  Brown-Buerger, and under this name it began its entry into the office of every American urologist: the workhorse for all of us until the development of the fiber-optic instruments pushed the Brown-Buerger cystoscope into obscurity.

Looking back at urology's past is just as important as looking ahead to its future Clearly, the number of Brown-Buerger cystoscopes donated to our collection is a testament to the instruments staying power—and its place in urology's history. After much discussion among members of the History Committee about the award's name—including the catchy but tarnished "Rusty Cystoscope Award"—the decision was made to name it the Retrospectroscope—in recognition of the John Herman book, "Urology. A View through the Retrospectroscope."

The Retrospectroscope Award is a way to celebrate achievements in the preservation of urologic history.

2019 Winners

The TWO WINNERS of the 2019 AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award are Dr. Simone Vernez for her paper and presentation on Liquid Gold: the Value of Urine in the Textile Industry and Dr. Michael Witthaus for his paper on Stones, Space, and Dr. Abraham T. K. Cockett: A History of Urolithiasis and Aerospace Medicine. At the 2020 History Forum in Washington DC, each will receive from the AUA's William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History a refurbished vintage Brown-Buerger cystoscope, and they will share the $1,000 honorarium.

The History Committee also awarded an Honorable Mention to Dr. Jubin Matloubieh for his paper and presentation on Blood Gushing and Musical Screaming in Marin Marais’ Cystolithotomy.

Simone Vernez, MD
2019 Award Winner

Dr. Simone Vernez is currently a resident at the University of Wisconsin Department of Urology in Madison, Wisconsin. After receiving her Bachelor's degree from Stanford, she received her medical degree from the University of California Irvine School of Medicine. Dr. Vernez is a research fellow at UC Irvine, where she has secured over $80,000 in research grants, given multiple podium presentations, and published book chapters and review articles. She received the Meysken's Family Research Award in 2017 for exhibiting high potential for a career in clinical research as a graduating senior. Dr. Vernez has been a board member for the UCI AMA chapter, and the UCI Outreach Clinic.

Michael Witthaus, MD
2019 Award Winner

Michael Witthaus is a resident at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. He graduated from the Boston University School of Medicine in 2015, after receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from Minnesota State University. Since then, he has done research on many topics including nocturia, and published numerous manuscripts and abstracts. He has received multiple awards, including the Upstate Research Competition 1st place Research Presentation Award in 2019 and the Rodney Appell Traveling Preceptorship Award for 2017-2018. Dr. Witthaus has been an AUA member since 2015, and is also a member of the Society of Urologic Prosthetic Surgeons, and the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction.

Lawrence Wyner, MD
2018 Award Winner

The winner of the 2018 AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award is Dr. Lawrence Wyner (shown here with family at his son’s college graduation) for his paper and presentation on LESSONS LEARNED FROM A HURRICANE, based on an exhibit at the William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History. His article was printed April 2019 in JAMA entitled, Artist, Rediscovered: Images and Ethics of Early Prostate Cancer Screening.

Dr. Lawrence is currently a professor in the Department of Surgery at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. He received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and continued his medical training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio. He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles, and received the Charles C. Cannon Prize for undergraduate research in 1979. Dr. Lawrence is not only a member of the American Urological Association, but of the West Virginia State Medical Association and the American Transplant Society as well. He has given many presentations related to his areas of study, including the prostate, urinary tract, and the use of laser lithotripsy.

The History Committee also awarded an Honorable Mention to Dr. Michael Ernst for his paper on King of the Queen City: The Urologist Who Saved Buffalo.

Scott Quarrier, MD
2017 Award Winner

The winner of the 2017 AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award is Dr. Scott Quarrier for his paper and presentation on The Light at the End of the Scope: The History of Electro Surgical Instruments Co and the Mignon Lamp.

Dr. Quarrier grew up in upstate New York before attending Wesleyan University. After double majoring in biology and mathematics he sailed from Rhode Island down through the Caribbean for a year. Back on solid ground he attended University at Albany obtaining a MPH in epidemiology. He attended medical school at SUNY Stony Brook. He currently is a resident in urology at the University of Rochester when he is not sailing.

Kamyar Ghabili Amirkhiz, MD
2016 Award Winner

The winner of the 2016 AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award is Dr. Kamyar Ghabili Amirkhiz for his paper on The History of Prostate Cancer from Antiquity: Review of Paleopathological Studies. Dr. Amirkhiz is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. He has published more than 140 peer-reviewed articles in the international journals and has served as the Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Bioscience and clinical Medicine and an editorial board member of Biomedicine International. Moreover, Dr. Amirkhiz has published two books and several book chapters. His primary fields of research interest are urology and history of medicine.

Dr. Amirkhiz will receive from the AUA's William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History $1,000 in addition to the Cystoscope at the 2017 History Forum.

Yefim Sheynkin, MD, FACS
2015 Award Winner

The 2015 award winner of the AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award is Yefim Sheynkin, MD, FACS writing on "Levi Jay Hammond and the first human organ transplantations of 1911," presented by Dr. Pamela Baron. Dr. Sheynkin is an Associate Clinical Professor of Urology at Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook, NY. Dr. Sheynkin completed his urology residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn NY. He continued his training by completing a fellowship in male infertility and microsurgery at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University with Dr. Marc Goldstein and Dr. Peter Schlegel. Dr. Sheynkin joined the Department of Urology at Stony Brook University Hospital where he has been an academic faculty member since 1997. He authored and coauthored over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the field of male infertility, general urology and history of medicine. Dr. Sheynkin is a member of AUA, ASRM, SMRU, SSMR.

Dr. Sheynkin will receive from the AUA's William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History $1,000 in addition to the Cystoscope at the 2016 History Forum.

Effie Poulakou-Rebelakou, MD
2014 Award Winner

The 2014 award winner of the AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award is Effie Poulakou-Rebelakou, MD, writing on& "Syphilis' Impact On Late Works Of Classical Music Composers." Dr. Poulakou-Rebelakou is an Assistant Professor of History of Medicine, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and a member of 5 international and 11 Greek Companies for the History of Medicine.

View presentation on "Syphilis' Impact On Late Works Of Classical Music Composers"

Dr. Poulakou-Rebelakou will receive from the AUA's William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History $1,000 in addition to the Cystoscope at the 2015 History Forum.

Barbara Chubak, MD
2013 Award Winner

The 2013 winner of the AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award is Barbara Chubak, writing on " The Orthopedic Origin of Popular Male Circumcision in America." Dr. Chubak is a urology resident at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY. She completed a Fellowship in Bioethics at the Cleveland Clinic and has Master's degrees in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University and in the History of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University, where she also received her Medical Doctorate. Her research interests combine these various disciplines, with a particular focus on the historic and contemporary psychosocial impact of male sexual dysfunction and its treatment.

Thanks to the support of Olympus, Dr. Chubak will receive $1,000 in addition to the Cystoscope at the 2014 History Forum.

Matthis Krischel
2012 Award Winner

The 2012 winner of the AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award is Matthis Krischel, writing on "German Urology under National Socialism." Matthis Krischel studied History of Science at Technische Universität Berlin and at the University of Oklahoma. He is currently a PhD candidate and lecturer in History and Philosophy of Medicine at Ulm University in Germany. His research interests include the history of biology, history of eugenics, medicine in Nazi Germany and the history of urology.

Thanks to the support of Olympus, Mr. Krischel will receive $1,000 in addition to the Cystoscope at the 2012 History Forum.

Sutchin Rashmikant Patel, MD
2011 Award Winner

The 2011 winner of the AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award is Sutchin Rashmikant Patel, MD, writing on "Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants: Teaching The History Of Urology". Dr. Patel writes: I've been interested in both history and science since I was very young and this led me to concentrate in both Ancient History and Biochemistry while I was an undergraduate at Brown University. During medical school and throughout residency I became interested in the history of surgery and urology and was fortunate to have great mentors in Dr Anthony Caldamone and Dr Mark Sigman who fostered my interest in history and encouraged me to write. I will always fondly remember how a simple question in the operating room, "Who was Dennis Browne?" (as we were using the Denis Browne retractor) during a pediatric urology case, led to an adventure chronicling the many contributions of one of the founding fathers of pediatric urology. During my fellowship I was also fortunate that my boss, Dr Stephen Nakada, shared my passion for history and further allowed me to pursue my project on the teaching of the history of urology. I have always been fascinated by how much one can learn from listening to the stories of past surgeons about how the art of surgery was practiced during their time. However, with the increasing changes in technology and the fast-paced world that we live in, we sometimes don't get a chance to reflect on the past. I was curious as to how medical and surgical history had been taught in the past and if it was still being taught today and thus I felt it would be meaningful to gauge this in urology residency programs. I hope that my project leads to a greater awareness regarding the importance of teaching the history of urology during residency and helps to outline some of the many resources available that can further facilitate this process.

Thanks to the support of Olympus, Dr. Patel will receive $1,000 in addition to the Cystoscope at the 2012 History Forum.

Sara Spettel, MD
2010 Award Winner

The 2010 winner of the AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award is Dr. Sara Spettel, writing on " The Portrayal of J. Marion Sims' Controversial Surgical Legacy." Sara Spettel is a urology resident at Albany Medical Center in Albany, NY. Originally from Oregon, she majored in Latin American Studies at Barnard College in New York City and completed medical school at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She was inspired to write about the controversial medical figure Marion Sims after reading both the chapter on vesico-vaginal fistulas in Campbell's Urology and the novel Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (during vacation, of course.)

Thanks to the support of Olympus, Dr. Spettel will receive $1,000 in addition to the Cystoscope at the 2011 History Forum.

Genevieve M. Kruger, MD
2009 Award Winner

The 2009 winner of the AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award is Dr. Genevieve M. Kruger for her paper on Ramon Guiteras: Founder of the American Urological Association, Surgeon, Sportsman and Statesman.

Thanks to the support of Olympus, Dr. Kruger will receive $1,000 in addition to the Cystoscope at the 2010 History Forum.

Jennifer Gordetsky, MD
2008 Award Winner

The 2008 Retrospectroscope Award winner is Jennifer Gordetsky for her presentation entitled, "Mysticism and Urology in Ancient Egypt." Dr. Gordetsky examined the practice of urology in ancient Egypt using sources such as the Edwin Smith and Ebers Papyri. Dr. Gordetsky is a urology resident at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The complete presentation on Ancient Egyptian medicine, which combined science with magic and religion in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and formed the roots of scientific methodology and urology, is available through the William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History at History Forum Webcast, produced by Prous Science.

Thanks to the support of Olympus, Dr. Gordetsky will receive $1,000 in addition to the Cystoscope at the 2009 History Forum.

Genoa Ferguson
2007 Award Winner

The 2007 winner of the AUA Earl Nation Retrospectroscope Award is Genoa Ferguson, Urologic Surgery Clinical Fellow at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, MO for her presentation entitled Virginia E. Johnson: Sexual Pioneer in Saint Louis and the Conservative Midwest. Thanks to the support of Olympus, Ms. Ferguson received $1,000 in addition to the Cystoscope.

Virginia E. Johnson: Sexual Pioneer in Saint Louis and the Conservative Midwest Paper
Virginia E. Johnson: Sexual Pioneer in Saint Louis and the Conservative Midwest Presentation

Nicole Miller, MD
2006 Award Winner

The 2006 Retrospectroscope Award winner is Nicole Miller, MD from Indiana University School of Medicine, who gave her presentation on Injection, Ligation and Transplantation: The Search for the Glandular Fountain of Youth at the History Forum in 2006. Thanks to the support of Olympus, Ms. Miller received $1,000 in addition to the Cystoscope.

The manuscript for this presentation can be found in The Journal of Urology, Volume 177, Issue 6, Pages 2000-2005 N. Miller, B. Fulmer.

Shamim Baker
2005 Award Winner

The 2005 Retrospectroscope Award winner is Shamim Baker from Los Angeles, who gave a stunning presentation on the Tuskegee experiment at the History Forum in 2005.

Thanks to the support of Olympus, Ms. Baker will also receive $1,000.00 in addition to the Cystoscope.