FROM THE AUA SECRETARY: What We Accomplished in 2021 and Where We're Going in 2022

By: John D. Denstedt, MD, FRCSC, FACS, FCAHS | Posted on: 01 Jan 2022

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year, and 2021 was an impressive year for AUANews. As the Secretary of the AUA, one of the roles that comes with the position is my service as the Editor-in-Chief of AUANews. It has been extremely rewarding for me to work with our members to enhance the clinical and membership offerings of our newsletter. And even though 2021 was a great year for this valued member resource, 2022 has even more exciting plans and innovations in store for our readers. The vision for AUANews is to become the urological community’s trusted news resource, and I am thrilled to share with you how we plan to make AUANews much more than a print newsletter.

In April 2021, AUANews launched its first ever Diversity and Inclusion focus issue, focusing on the theme “Celebrating Diversity with the AUA.” This issue featured more than 15 articles on a variety of topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion in urology. I thank the AUA Diversity and Inclusion Task Force for their close collaboration and many efforts in bringing this issue to life. The 2021 articles are freely accessible on our website (https://www.auanet.org/education/auauniversity/for-medical-students/medical-students-curriculum/aua-news-diversity-issue) as valuable, downloadable resources for the use of anyone in our community. You can now look forward to an AUANews Diversity and Inclusion focus issue every year, and we are proud to continue to grow this important body of work in the years to come.

AUANews launched a complete print redesign of the publication in July 2021. This aesthetically pleasing redesign allows us to feature more clinical articles on the cover each month and showcases an attractive layout with improved readability, pull quotes and enhanced graphics. We didn’t just redesign the print version, though; we doubled and in some cases even tripled the world-class urological content each month in comparison with 2020. We have also worked hard to cross-pollinate rich content from across the AUA in each month’s issue. For instance, our “Journal Briefs” articles feature self-written author summaries of their articles that have appeared in recent issues of The Journal of Urology® and Urology Practice®.

Along with the print redesign, AUANews was moved to a new platform on AUAnet.org, making articles easily searchable and giving our members the ability to share individual articles right to their social media accounts. This improved user experience has made it possible for our readers to interact more readily with content on an individual article basis.

The New Technologies, Surgical Ethics, Out of Office, Coding & Billing and Medicolegal columns were added to AUANews in 2021. These columns have received great feedback from our readers and provide new perspectives on different areas of interest within urology.

Another notable 2021 milestone happened when the Board of Directors made the difficult decision to pivot AUA2021 from an in-person meeting to a completely virtual one. At the time the decision was made, the entire annual meeting issue of AUANews had been compiled and was ready to go to print. I was faced with 3 decisions: 1) attempt to edit all content to reflect this change, 2) abort the issue entirely or 3) print the content as is, with a note added in proof to explain that the content would not be changed despite the last minute changes. I selected option 3 knowing how much work our presenters/authors had put into writing those articles. I asked the AUA’s editorial office to order extra copies of AUANews for future display in the William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History because I knew that historic issue would be one to remember forever.

And now it’s time to look ahead to 2022. There are many new updates to the AUANews platform we are looking forward to launching in 2022. We will add a mid-month, online-only release, called AUANews Extra, which will double the number of issues we release in a year. Increased pre-, live and post-AUA2022 coverage will be an integral part of AUANews, with plans to expand our focus on the meeting year over year. There will also be more focus issues, spotlighting disease states, innovations in technology and more. We plan to feature at least 1 case report per month in 2022. We will also work to bolster the AUANews online platform to host more multimedia content, including webinars, podcasts and videos. The AUANews platform will become a robust digital ecosystem that will allow our members to connect with one another and all facets of the AUA.

You, our readers and members, are integral to the success of these improved AUANews offerings. I welcome your feedback and contributions to our newsletter, and look forward to a healthy, productive and happy 2022 ahead.

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