Assistant Secretary Spotlight On: Latin America and the Caribbean: AUA2021 A Meeting of the Firsts

By: Angela B. Smith, MD, MS | Posted on: 01 Nov 2021

As I reflect on the 2021 AUA Annual Meeting, I am struck by the number of firsts that occurred at the meeting, many of them due to the strong support of our colleagues in Latin America and the Caribbean. The 26th Annual AUA/Confederación Americana de Urología (CAU) Spanish Urology Program kicked off the meeting on Thursday and was held virtually for the first time ever. Presented in English and simultaneously translated into Spanish, this program is one of the most popular programs at the Annual Meeting, and this year was no different. The CAU Program was well attended with a high level of engagement between speakers and attendees interacting within the online chat, facilitating thought-provoking exchanges among colleagues from all around the world.

In addition, the entire plenary session from Friday to Monday was simultaneously interpreted into Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. While Spanish interpretation of the plenary has been offered for the past several years, this was the first time the plenary was also offered in Brazilian Portuguese to meet the needs of the 1,000 AUA members residing in Brazil. The AUA also decided to provide simultaneous translation for the Brazilian Portuguese Urology Program, which was presented in conjunction with the Sociedade Brasileira de Urologia (SBU). Among just those 3 events, the AUA now has nearly 80 hours of translated AUA Annual Meeting content available on demand for all registered attendees! I invite our Spanish and Portuguese—speaking members to take advantage of this quality content in their native language, available online to registered attendees until December 31, 2021.

But the firsts aren’t done yet. The inaugural Asociación Urológica de Centroamérica y el Caribe (AUCA) program was held on Monday with lectures provided in Spanish by urologists from Latin America and the Caribbean including Cuba and the Dominican Republic. This program was also attended during the “live” presentation due to the unwavering support of our colleagues within the Latin American and Caribbean region. The success of these virtual sessions, many of which required rapid reorganization to accommodate the virtual format, would not have been possible without the trust built upon many years of friendship, collaboration and collegiality with our global partners. While I miss traveling and seeing my colleagues, I take comfort in knowing that we can still produce quality education together even in this new virtual world. There is no doubt about that now.

On behalf of the AUA, I would like to thank our colleagues in the Latin American and Caribbean region for their dedication to the AUA, especially during this challenging time. The pandemic’s many challenges have also brought new opportunities to partner and collaborate in innovative ways to promote quality education to urologists on a global scale. Whether through an official leadership meeting over Zoom or a simple abrazo/abraço via WhatsApp, our partnerships and friendships endure because of a mutual aspiration to improve urological care through co-learning, best achieved globally and together. Gracias a todos y nos vemos pronto!

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