The University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Urology is celebrating its 90th anniversary. With some help from John M. Barry, MD, and his endowed lectureship series, the Department of Urology continues to lead the specialty in teaching, education, research and patient care.

Dr. Barry grew up in rural Minnesota and attended U of M for seven years, earning three degrees, culminating with his MD in 1965. After his internship and three years in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Barry made his way to the University of Oregon Medical School for his urology residency.

“Oregon had everything on my checklist that I wanted for training because I knew I wanted to do kidney transplants, and I wanted to be trained by urologists to do them,” said Dr. Barry. He joined the faculty at 12:01 a.m. on the day after he completed his residency, and he’s been there ever since.

Currently, Dr. Barry is Professor of Urology and Professor of Surgery in the Division of Abdominal Organ Transplantation. His legacy includes a total of 2,539 kidney transplants.

As they prepare for the celebration, the Department of Urology is grateful for Dr. Barry’s desire to give back to the U of M and to urology. His goal with this lectureship series is to allow the department to invite stars in the field and reinforce the bridge between the local practice community and the department.

Dr. Barry stated that many of the questions in the field of urology have remained the same for decades, but the answers to the questions have changed over time as we develop and share new knowledge and technical advances.

Not only has Dr. Barry maintained his allegiance to the U of M, but he has connections all over Minnesota. He gives back to Mayo Clinic because they cared for many of his family members, and he has also kept in contact with his high school in Pine City, Minn., where four Barry Scholarships were given out again this year.

In addition, Dr. Barry and Howard Slusher, his friend from Oregon, bought a robot tackling dummy for the football team to practice tackling a robot rather than each other to avoid head injuries. He has also bought computerized programs that can trace the arc of 3-point shots on the basketball team.

“Once upon a time, I was captain of the football team and captain of the basketball team, and I’m in the Pine City Athletic Hall of Fame. What can I say?”

He ended his remarks by reflecting on his advice for those who want to pursue a career rather than having a job. “Find something worthwhile that you like to do, do it well, and money will follow you around.”

“Urology is great because it combines medicine, surgery and research in the care of patients, some of whom have very personal problems that need to be solved. We have patients who tell us things they wouldn’t tell a psychiatrist,” says Dr. Barry.

As he reflected on the Department of Urology’s 90th anniversary, Dr. Barry shared, “It’s great. It means they’ve endured.” Likewise, Dr. Barry’s exemplary career, teachings and legacy in the field of medicine endures through the lectureship series.