Mexican Urology and AUA: A Chronology of Successful Alliance for Mutual Benefit

By: Ismael Sedano Portillo, MD | Posted on: 01 Apr 2022

Mexican Urology has many reasons to celebrate in this issue of AUANews dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

The partnership between Mexican Urology and the AUA has been founded on the twin pillars of academic exchange and strengthening of mutual friendship bonds. Mexican Urology is represented by 2 national associations: the Sociedad Mexicana de Urología (SMU) and the Colegio Mexicano de Urología Nacional (CMUN).

Historically, Mexican members and residents have always participated very actively in the annual AUA congresses. However, the SMU initiated the first collaborative effort with AUA, bringing tangible positive results; an example is the organization of postgraduate courses in the program of the AUA annual meetings.

Figure 1. Steven E. Canfield, MD at Lessons in Urology 2018, Mexico City.

The CMUN started its partnership with the AUA in 2010, and was negotiated by AUA representatives Datta G. Wagle, MD (President), Anton J. Bueschen, MD (Immediate Past AUA President) and Ellen Molino (AUA International Projects Coordinator) working in collaboration with CMUN representatives Vicente Garcia Perez, MD (CMUN President), Miguel Gonzalez Dominguez, MD (CMUN Chair of International Affairs), Felix Santaella Torres, MD and Ismael Sedano Portillo, MD.

I have very pleasant memories of this cordial dialogue and was very honored to have participated in it with such wonderful people. The meeting was simply and informally held in a hotel lobby in Cancun, Mexico without preset protocols or conditions.

Figure 2. Ismael Sedano Portillo, MD (2018 CMUN President, bottom row, second from right) and Jesus Torres Aguilar, MD (2017 SMU President, top row, fifth from right) representing their respective Mexican urological associations at the 2017 AUA presidential reception in Boston, Massachusetts.

Presently, both national Mexican Urology associations share some academic programs. The AUA has conducted annual laparoscopy courses and/or symposia at both the SMU and CMUN Annual Congresses since 2008, and tracking the evolution of these educational activities year-on-year it is evident that many participants who had attended these basic laparoscopy courses in the beginning are now attending the more advanced courses. This shows evidence of true progress for mutual benefit with the AUA courses.

Beyond the laparoscopy courses, there is now a dedicated place embedded in the National Congress scientific program for AUA symposia, AUA-SMU or AUA-CMUN sponsored professors who are regularly invited to review the most up-to-date evidence base and innovative issues across the whole of Urology.

Figure 3. Left to right: Steven E. Canfield, MD, Alfredo Medina Ocampo, MD (2018 SMU President) and Ismael Sedano Portillo, MD (2018 CMUN President) at the opening of Lessons in Urology, Mexico City 2018.

Another important event is the AUA Lessons in Urology Program which has taken place annually in Mexico City since 2012. For nearly a decade this educational program has benefited the training of nearly 1,000 Mexican residents. Steven E. Canfield, MD has led this program and always selects the most prominent supra-specialty faculty to discuss topics such as Urologic Oncology and Prostate Diseases, Stones Disease, Trauma, Erectile Dysfunction, Pediatric Urology, Female and Reconstructive Urology, Neurourology and Urodynamics, and aspects of Medical Urology.

The Mexican Scholar program has also been held since 2012. The AUA’s Mexican Visiting Scholar program allows 1 Mexican urologist to visit the United States for the purpose of observing urological surgeries/procedures, and attending clinics and educational professional developmental staff activities.

Figure 4. Left to right: Ellen Molino (AUA International Programs Manager), Manoj Monga, MD (2018 AUA Secretary), Ismael Sedano Portillo, MD (2018 President of CMUN) and Angela B. Smith, MD (2018 AUA Assistant Secretary) working meeting.

This year is heralded by several firsts. One SMU resident will be selected to participate in the AUA Residents Bowl. Moreover, access to The Global Residents Leadership Retreat has also been added, and aims to cultivate the next generation of Mexican Urology leaders by fostering a connection between residents and trainees worldwide. This is an invitation-only event for a unique 1-day program dedicated to leadership training and development. A place has been reserved for a Mexican resident, which will alternate annually between the 2 Mexican national associations. This provides a great opportunity to improve residents’ skills in leadership development, conflict management, public speaking, coaching, mentoring and team building.

The impact and engagement of the partnership between Mexican Urology and the AUA is evident in certain metrics. In 2020, 569 Mexican urologists were also AUA members. In 2021, there were 1,071 visits to the online AUAUniversity in Spanish with Mexico being the number 1 country; Mexico represented the number 5 in all AUA.net site traffic with 28,283 visits,

A total of 324 Mexican urologists attended the AUA2021 virtual Annual Meeting, there were 18,228 visits to the Urology Care Foundation Site and 30 Clinical Guidelines were translated into Spanish.

These metrics are very impressive and lead to the conclusion that there is undeniable evidence of an extraordinary cooperation, which would not have been possible in practical terms without the dedication and invaluable support of Ellen L. Molino, International Programs Manager of the AUA, who has always been kind and ever ready to help.

These accomplishments have undoubtedly inspired all of us in all 3 organizations to continue working together to further strengthen the relationship, and in the future to increase collaborative programs that include Mexican urologists, irrespective of age, to participate in the AUA’s Mexican Visiting Scholar program. This journey of collaboration, mutual respect and friendship, already over a decade old, between our respective national organizations will continue to evolve in years to come for the benefit of all concerned, and most of all to the benefit of our urology patients in Mexico.

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