By: Seth A. Cohen, MD, FACS; Jay Simhan, MD, FACS | Posted on: 01 Jul 2022

This year, the AUA Annual Meeting finally returned to an in-person format! The recent meeting had several fantastic events specifically tailored for young urologists within the AUA by members of the Young Urologists Committee (YUC) and its chair, Dr. Sammy Elsamra.

A key topic that has enveloped most of our lives has been the incorporation and rapid growth of social media within the fabric of societal culture over the past decade. The influence of social media, either positive or negative, is undeniable. Do you incorporate social media in your practice? How can that be done effectively? What are the “rules”? Any tips to utilizing social media to help knowledge dissemination and/or institutional/career advancement? If you have not incorporated social media platform(s), what are you missing?

“Do you incorporate social media in your practice? How can that be done effectively? What are the “rules”?”

All of these questions helped drive this year’s YUC to develop a comprehensive Young Urology Forum focused on the effects of social media on urological practice. Accordingly, this year’s program had 4 distinguished young urologists who were also well-recognized experts in social media. Dr. Aditya Bagrodia (@AdityaBagrodia), Dr. Justin Dubin (@justindubinmd), Dr. Rena Malik (@RenaMalikMD) and Dr. Stacy Loeb (@LoebStacy) all spoke individually on their experience using various social media programs with comprehensive presentations on Twitter®, YouTube® and podcasts. An engaged conversation with the audience took place where young urologists learned the “do’s and dont’s” of incorporating social media into their practices. They were given helpful and easy-to-follow suggestions, which, taken together, were essentially a “how-to” guide in professional utilization of these various social media platforms. From networking to patient education and research endeavors, the panelists spoke of the value social media engagement has brought to their professional developments. Importantly, all of the expert speakers reiterated the notion that social media use as a physician is most effective when there is passion and interest in doing so—and those physicians who are not interested need not feel an imperative to implement social media into their daily routine.

Another event coordinated through YUC was the Speed Mentoring program managed by one of us (JS). This program has become a long-standing annual tradition of the AUA meeting. At this event, residents and fellows sign up as “mentees”and discuss a wide range of topics with pre-selected Young Urology mentors in “speedy” 10-minute conversations. Mentees then rotate to have similar short-burst conversations with additional mentors who are subject matter experts in the topic areas of interest. No issue is off limits in this no-holds-barred conversation, and most mentees discussed fellowship/job advice, career choice, employment contract issues and career goals during the most recent Speed Mentoring event.

“If you have not incorporated social media platform(s), what are you missing?”

Additionally, the AUA Medical Student Education Committee held its annual Medical Student Forum, with a robust panel composed of Young Urologists including Dr. Marisa Clifton, Dr. Kathleen Kieran, Dr. Jennifer Yates, Dr. Adam Weiner and Dr. Taylor Kohn, and was moderated by one of us (SAC).The event was directed toward medical students present at the AUA meeting and provided a venue for them to network with and ask questions of Young Urologists who are currently in training or extensively involved in trainee education. This year’s event was very well attended, with 102 medical students present for 60 minutes of helpful, important insights to guide them on paths forward in potentially joining our specialty.

Overall, young urology was well represented in planned, coordinated events for our peers at AUA2022, a meaningful return to an in-person gathering after an extended hiatus. These high-yield events were only possible because of many team members’ efforts, and we are grateful to both AUA leadership and staff for providing the space, time and resources to allow these events to occur. YUC is already engaged in planning for Chicago, AUA2023.

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