Section and Specialty Meetings: American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons

By: Gopal Badlani, MD, FACS, FRCS; Robert Flanigan, MD, FACS | Posted on: 06 Aug 2021

The American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons (AAGUS) is the oldest urological organization in North America. It was established on October 16, 1886 by Dr. Edward L. Keyes, Sr. in order to create a society devoted to the study of genitourinary and venereal diseases. Its first meeting was held at Lakewood, New Jersey, on May 17 and 18, 1887.

The 2020 meeting was to be the 129th meeting of the AAGUS. It was postponed due to the COVID pandemic and will therefore be held this year from August 25–28, 2021 on Amelia Island, Florida.

The officers of the organization are: Dr. Robert Flanigan (President), Dr. Robert Weiss (Immediate Past President), Dr. Linda Shortliffe (Vice President), Dr. William Catalona (Senior Councilor), Dr. Eila Skinner (Junior Councilor) and Dr. Gopal Badlani (Secretary-Treasurer).

The association consists of 75 active U.S. and Canadian members as well as international members from around the world and represents all subspecialties of urology. Fifteen guests are invited each year to the meeting. All members graduate to “fellow” status at age 65 but may remain active in the association. A few honorary members have been named over the century.

The annual meeting format is unique and distinguishes the meeting from most scientific meetings. All presentations are cutting edge and have not previously been presented. Most significantly, after a presentation of 8 minutes, a free (and almost unlimited) discussion period occurs. Recent meetings have also featured Presidential Lectures by eminent scientists and innovative research presentations by nonmembers.

The upcoming 2021 meeting will feature 40 presentations from leading academic urologists from around the globe. This year’s topics include prostate/bladder/renal cancer, stone disease, men’s health, voiding dysfunction, pediatric urology, and education techniques and outcomes.

The Association also awards up to 3 medals each year. These are announced at the meeting, and the awardees are usually unaware of receiving the award until the presenter weaves a story about them during a dinner presentation.

  1. The Keyes Medal is awarded to an individual for “outstanding contributions in the advancement of urology.” Recognized by some as the greatest individual citation in the specialty, it has been awarded sparingly. Dr. Joseph (Jay) Smith from Vanderbilt was the recipient in 2019.
  2. The Barringer Medal is awarded to a member who has achieved fame and distinguished accomplishments. It is typically awarded to a younger person who is doing outstanding work but has not yet “arrived” and thus will be encouraged and stimulated by this award. Dr. David Penson, also from Vanderbilt, received this award in 2019.
  3. The Spence Medal, created in 1994 to honor Dr. Harry M. Spence, is awarded for outstanding achievement in urology. Dr. David Bloom from University of Michigan, Past President and Historian of the society, was awarded this medal in 2019.

The annual meeting is usually scheduled between the European Association of Urology and AUA meetings. It is restricted to members and guests and no commercial or sponsored activity is permitted.

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