SECTION AND SPECIALTY MEETINGS: 2022 AUA Mid-Atlantic Section Meeting

By: Tracey L. Krupski, MD, MPH | Posted on: 01 Aug 2022

It has been my honor and privilege to serve as the Mid-Atlantic (MA) Section AUA president this calendar year. Under the expert leadership of Drs. Ben Lowentritt and Jay Raman, we emerged from the tribulations of the COVID years intact and, might I say, stronger. I have been fortunate that my tenure as president has been one of innovation, revitalization and recognition.

It is a testament to our renewed commitment to improving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) that I was elected to serve as the second female president of this section. In keeping with this focus on DEI, we have undertaken innovative new initiatives. We are very proud to have conceived of and implemented a Pre-Medicine Enrichment Program. Much of the credit for this program goes to Dr. Kurt McCammon, who was instrumental in bringing forth the concept of exposing undergraduate underrepresented minorities to the field of medicine. The program aims to diversify the urology workforce by providing direct financial support to academic programs offering support for first-generation minority students through mentoring and support in the core areas of academic study, career planning, personal growth and scientific research. We planned to fund 6 summer positions and we were delighted to receive applications to fill all 6 internships! Indeed, several institutions were so enthusiastic that they are funding additional positions of their own accord. The Board authorized this to be a 5-year pilot program.

We also revitalized our Resident Day programming under the leadership of Drs. Rena Malik and Susan MacDonald. They created a robust program that included oral board mock exams, office-based technologies and resident case competition complete with mimes, building a brand and hands-on skills stations. The cocktail party incorporated speed mentoring. The program was ambitious but came off well, with residents from 18 of the 19 section programs participating and giving it rave reviews. Similarly, our Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Committee stayed with the virtual format mandated during COVID and created a full day of scientific programming. The APP chair, Anne Calvaresi, moderated the session, which included a mix of specialty-specific APPs and physicians. The day had excellent attendance, industry support and strong post-course reviews. The committee hopes to alternate in-person attendance with virtual attendance in the future.

The Young Urologist Committee was also revitalized with the innovative leadership of Dr. Marisa Clifton, carrying on the work of her predecessor, Dr. Jay Simhan. This committee utilized new social platforms such as Gather Town to forge new relationships between Section mentors and mentees who have finished training and are in practice. Interactive virtual tables allow conversations on topics ranging from wellness to hobbies and areas of professional interest beyond clinical medicine and urology specialties. They also plan to cement these relationships at our Annual Meeting with an exclusive event to keep the committee vibrant.

Figure 1. Urology residents participating in hands-on training for urethral sling placement. Dr. Sarah C. Krzastek, speaker.
Figure 2. MA Section Annual Meeting keynote speakers Drs. Mark Litwin (left) and Duke Herrell (right).

The culmination of all this work is, of course, the Annual Meeting. We get to revisit New Orleans in October. I won’t be leading off with a Mardi Gras parade like Dr. Thomas, but I will be proud to open our meeting nonetheless! Dr. Ryan Smith has led our Program Committee and we emerged with a diverse program that includes nontraditional topics in urology as well as health policy and traditional science. We are so excited to have keynote speakers that include my personal mentor and pioneer in health services research, Dr. Mark Litwin, as well as Dr. Duke Herrell, who is a physician-scientist who utilized his engineering background to advance robotic platforms. We have an exciting scientific program with a session in DEI for the lay urologist, and I am particularly excited to hear from Dr. Philip Pierorazio (Operating with Zen podcast and an MA AUA member) about physician coaching. Dr. Pierorazio enticed Dr. Michael Joyner to lecture on his outstanding work on human performance and exercise physiology. He has worked with elite athletes, and this promises to be an entertaining and worthwhile session. We further have the benefit of being a destination meeting with some cross-pollination with the Southeastern Section. Many thanks to Dr. Raju Thomas for providing intelligence on local speakers from their section. We have incorporated several into the program and appreciate their participation. We also thank Dr. Mary Beth Westerman for serving as a liaison on our Planning Committee to broaden our perspective. We hope to entice participants to our meeting. Drs. Thomas and Westerman were kind enough to also participate in our plenary sessions.

Figure 3. MA Section award winners (left to right) Drs. Mikel L. Gray (APP of the Year), Arthur L. Burnett II (Hugh Hampton Young Award) and Kirsten L. Greene (Mid-Career Award).

Figure 4. The Rod Squad with MA-AUA president Dr. Tracey Krupski and Associate Director Danielle Wagner.

Finally, I have to end with the recognition our section has garnered this year. I have referenced us as small but mighty! We were proud to have the Advanced Practice Provider of the Year from our section, Dr. Mikel Gray. Further, Drs. Arthur Burnett and Kirsten Greene were recognized at the national stage with the Hugh Hampton Young Award and the Mid-Career Award, respectively. Dr. Burnett has contributed greatly to the Section over the years and is a past president. Dr. Greene is new to our section, having recently transferred from the Western Section, but I can attest to her surgical skill and long-standing commitment to the AUA as she is my boss! Dr. Ruchika Talwar from the University of Pennsylvania garnered the Outstanding Resident Award from the Society of Women in Urology. She was an important leader of the MA Resident Clinic, and we wish her well in her fellowship. After handily winning most of their competitions, the Mid-Atlantic Rod Squad had to make a stunning come-from-behind effort in final jeopardy to win the cup (see Figure). Congratulations to Jack Farhi, Alex Nourian, Andrew Salib, Jacob Thatcher and international participant Harmanmeet Singh!

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