From the AUA Education Council: Final Words

By: Victor W. Nitti, MD | Posted on: 01 Mar 2021

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost 6 years since I started in the position of Chair of the AUA’s Education Council on June 1, 2015. The time has gone by so quickly, and I truly hope that during the last 6 years we were able to provide our members, urologists and urology care providers with unique and practical learning experiences. We tried hard to stay abreast of changes in learning styles and offer new programs while continuing to offer those activities that have been tried and true over the years. In the past year, the Office of Education (OE) staff did an incredible job of adapting to our virtual reality and offering almost every single planned activity in 2020. Our YouTube channel and podcast downloads exploded as our members became more dependent on multimedia learning.

All of the things that we accomplished would not have been possible without the support of AUA leadership. I want to thank the AUA Board of Directors and AUA CEO Mike Sheppard for supporting our initiatives and placing their confidence in the OE team. I have had the opportunity to work closely with 2 AUA Secretaries, Drs. Manoj Monga and John Denstedt, in the planning of 6 annual meetings and cannot think of 2 more insightful colleagues to have shared this task with.

I am extremely grateful to the entire OE team for their tremendous work during my tenure. I think it is important that you all know the people who deliver our OE products to you. The OE staff is led by its director Shelby Englert, who began in that position just after I started as Chair. She has made the OE a model of efficiency and teamwork. Patrick Kerley is the Education Manager for e-learning. He and his team are responsible for all of your e-learning on the AUA University–a daunting task that they all handle so well. Helen Scofield is the Education Manager for programs. Helen and her team of coordinators run all of our courses and webinars. Many of you have commented to me what a great job they do. Jody Donaldson is the Education Manager for Governance and Accreditation. She runs all of our Education Council Committees and Work Groups, looks after COI and makes sure that our activities meet ACCME standards for accreditation and CME credit. She is one of the most organized people I have ever worked with. Finally, Janet Skorepa, AUA’s Executive Vice President for Education, oversees the entire educational mission of the AUA and assures that we deliver what our members require. They have all become my AUA family, and I will miss working with them.

I have always believed that the AUA was made up of people who are incredibly generous with their time and resources and extremely dedicated to teaching and sharing information with their colleagues. The past 6 years has not only confirmed, but strengthened this belief. Almost everything we do at the OE is predicated on volunteerism. I am so thankful to all of you who have unselfishly given your time and energy, sometimes on a moment’s notice, to ensure the success of our programs. I also want to thank the countless AUA members who have offered suggestions, encouragement and thoughtful criticism to make us better. It is because of you that our organization is as great as it is. We have outstanding leadership at the AUA, but at the end of the day an organization is only as strong as its members.

It has been an honor for me to serve as Chair of the AUA Education Council. I will always be grateful to the AUA for the opportunity that was given to me. It is my pleasure to pass the torch to Dr. Jay Raman on June 1, 2021. I am excited to see, and take advantage of, all of the programs that Jay and the team will have for us in the upcoming years.

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