May 28, 2024

Jennifer Gordetsky honored for her history of urology research

Jennifer Gordetsky, MD, believes the most important part of medical history is making sure our mistakes are not forgotten

Jennifer Gordetsky, MD, professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, and of Urology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been honored by the American Urological Association (AUA) for her published explorations of the history of urology.

Jennifer Gordetsky, MD
Jennifer Gordetsky, MD

Gordetsky, medical director of the Division of Anatomic Pathology and Surgical Pathology, is the 2024 recipient of the association’s William P. Didusch Art and History Award, named for the famed medical artist and curator who died in 1981.

“I believe that the most important part of medical history is to ensure that we do not forget our mistakes,” Gordetsky wrote in an article about her award published by the AUA. “If we do not look back, if we do not change, we are destined to repeat the past.

“If we are to be healers of the sick, then we must judge the past, learn from our mistakes, and continue to push ourselves to a higher standard,” she wrote. “I am exceedingly grateful to the awards committee and the AUA board of directors for this most wonderful recognition.”

A graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Gordetsky was introduced to medical history research during her residency in Urology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2019 after completing fellowships in general surgical and urological surgical pathology.

Gordetsky has been actively involved in oncologic research and medical education, and she has been an invited speaker nationally and internationally on the topic of urological pathology.

She and her University of Rochester mentors, Jean O’Brien, MD, and Ronald Rabinowitz, MD, have co-written articles on a wide range of historical topics, including urology and the scientific method in ancient Egypt, wine as a treatment for genitourinary disease, and the evolution of intraurethral anesthesia in urology.

Gordetsky’s remarks appear in the Spring 2024 issue of The Scope of Urology, a publication of the Alfred P. Didusch Center for Urologic History at AUA headquarters in Linthicum Heights, Maryland.