A renowned specialist earns pediatric urology’s highest honor

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Rink in surgery 1419

A pediatric urologist at Riley Children's Health recently earned the American Academy of Pediatrics Medal in Urology. Richard Rink, MD, is the 38th recipient in the nation to earn the specialty’s most prestigious honor.

Richard Rink, MD, pediatric urologist at Riley Children’s Health, is distinguished for his long-time contributions to pediatric urology. Recently earning the American Academy of Pediatrics Medal in Urology, he is the 38th recipient in the nation to earn the specialty’s most prestigious honor.

“His energy, precision and quest for perfection are inspiring,” Rosalia Misseri, MD said, division chief of pediatric urology at Riley Children’s. “His passion goes beyond the surgery to thinking about the child and what we can we do to get this child to be as healthy and functionally normal as we can.”

Dr. Rink received his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine and has been with pediatric urology at Riley Children’s since 1985, having served as the division chief from 1989-2012. To date, he has been one of the most respected pediatric urologic surgeons worldwide, with over 300 publications and 50 book chapters to fine-tune the principles of pediatric reconstructive urology surgery. Additionally, Dr. Rink has performed over 850 bladder augmentations in children, where he initiated long-term follow ups to better define those procedures.

“Dr. Rink has taught by example—he is constantly reassessing his technique, outcomes and approaches,” Benjamin Whittam, MD, MS said, pediatric urologist at Riley Children’s. “His approach to leadership has created a division where we step up and help our partners—who are world leaders in their own special niches—to provide Hoosier children exceptional care across all nuances of pediatric urologic care.”

Even more, Dr. Rink is an acclaimed educational leader who founded IU School of Medicine’s Pediatric Urology Fellowship Program, training 25 pediatric urology fellows–nine of whom have served as leaders at their respective institutions–during his tenure as division chief. Today, he actively presents at national and international conferences to further that urologic education to specialists globally.

“He’s technically very, very gifted in a way you don’t see often. He’s mentored many faculty, as well as residents and fellows,” Michael Koch, MD said, chair of the department of urology at IU School of Medicine. Often, aspiring urologists will choose the fellowship program at Riley Children’s simply because of Dr. Rink’s prowess and reputation, Dr. Koch added.

Most importantly, Dr. Rink is responsible for developing the pediatric urology program at Riley Children’s from the ground up, where he has helped it grow from a single urologist to the current eight surgeons and six advanced practice nurses on staff. Presently, experts in the program are trained in robotic surgery, pediatric stone disease, transitional care, gender health and more, and the team is recognized worldwide for its outstanding work in pediatric urology overall.

“I set out to get the best possible talent in the United States to Riley Children’s,” Dr. Rink said. “And we have that.”

“There’s not a pediatric urologist in the world who doesn’t know what Riley Children’s is,” Dr. Misseri added. “That is all because of Dr. Rink.”

About pediatric urology at Riley Children’s

Alongside Dr. Rink, the team of pediatric urologists at Riley Children’s are experts in treating patients with complex urologic conditions. Key program distinctions include:

  • One of seven Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) Comprehensive Care Centers in the U.S. (designated by the CARES Foundation)
  • One of 10 bladder exstrophy centers of excellence in the nation (designated by the Association for the Bladder Exstrophy Community)
  • One of the few Midwest facilities to offer pediatric robotic surgery
  • Founding member of the Pediatric Urology Midwest Alliance, a group of leading pediatric urology programs advancing surgical outcomes and care for bladder exstrophy patients

To learn more, read the annual report.

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