From the AUA Secretary: Staying Connected Around the Globe

By: John D. Denstedt, MD, FRCSC, FACS, FCAHS, Editor, AUA News | Posted on: 01 Feb 2021

The AUA has nearly 24,000 members worldwide who have been transforming and improving urological care for more than 100 years. More than 7,000 of those members live outside of the United States, and with our increased utilization of technology it has never been easier to stay connected.

Our international members support the advancement of urology and urological professionals by unifying and strengthening the specialty. The AUA remains committed to providing our members with urological education to enhance patient care around the world through the collaboration and exchange of knowledge and resources. Even with the quick pivot to virtual meetings due to COVID-19 the AUA was able to provide the same level of education to our members around the globe.

More than 100 AUA faculty participated in nearly 40 national and multinational society programs across more than 20 countries last year. These programs were standalone events or were held in conjunction with one of our partner’s Annual Congresses. Depending upon the type and scheduled time of the program, we provided live virtual talks or prerecorded lectures for all of these events, and most of them included a live Q&A session with the AUA faculty. AUA Assistant Secretaries, Drs. Chang, Shukla and Smith, played an integral role in providing AUA updates and scientific lectures during programs with our international partners. The AUA also participated in virtual exhibit areas in many of these international meetings to stay connected with our members despite being unable to travel to their national congresses.

Access to the AUA’s high-quality education is one of the most important benefits to our members. International members can access online urological education through the AUA University, enjoy complimentary access to The Journal of Urology®, apply for international focused research funding opportunities and participate in international academic exchange programs through partnerships with the AUA and international societies. The AUA Virtual Experience also provided a multitude of educational programming easily accessible from anywhere and was made available in Spanish through a collaboration with the Sociedad Colombiana de Urología.

In addition to the educational programs, the AUA held more than 30 virtual leadership meetings last summer to connect with our international society partners and plan for joint virtual programs for the remainder of 2020. Additionally, the AUA plans to hold more leadership meetings in January to plan for our international educational programming throughout 2021. This global exchange of information will continue to improve patient care and advance the specialty.

I would like to thank all of our AUA faculty who volunteered their time to participate in these programs, our partner societies for their flexibility in allowing the AUA’s virtual participation in their meetings and all of our members who attended these virtual programs throughout 2020. While it wasn’t the same as seeing everyone in person, continuing to learn, teach and collaborate with our colleagues around the world was certainly a bright spot during a challenging year, and we look forward to a time when we can meet in person again.

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