Dr. Retik received a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College. Following internship and one year of surgical residency at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester New York, he spent two years at the National Cancer Institute. He completed further surgical residency at New England Medical Center Hospital and trained in urology at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. Dr. Retik then undertook further specialization in pediatric urology at the Hospital for Sick Children in London under the tutelage of Sir David Innes Williams.
Dr. Retik began his clinical career at the Boston Floating Hospital for Infants and Children. In 1977 he was appointed Chief of Pediatric Urology at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, a position he occupied for 35 years. From 2002 to 2008, Dr. Retik was appointed Surgeon-in-Chief at Boston Children's Hospital. In April 2005 Harvard Medical School established the Alan B. Retik, M.D. Professorship in Pediatric Urology. Dr. Retik was appointed Executive Chair/Medical Director of Boston Children's Hospital's International Health Services in 2010.
Dr. Retik was made Professor of Surgery (Urology) in 1981. He has held numerous national leadership positions including chairman of the Section on Urology of the American Academy of Pediatrics, President of the Society for Pediatric Urology of the American Urological Association, and President of the New England Section of the American Urological Association.
Dr. Retik has been awarded the Pediatric Urology Medal from the American Academy of Pediatrics (1994) and the Ferdinand C. Valentine Medal from the New York Academy of Medicine (2002). Dr. Retik also received the Certificate of Achievement (2002), the Distinguished Contribution Award (2005) and the Ramon Guiteras Award (2006) from the American Urological Association.