FROM THE EDUCATION COUNCIL: AUA Partners with the ABU on New CUC Education

By: Jay D. Raman, MD, FACS | Posted on: 01 Mar 2022

“Partnership is not a posture but a process–a continuous process that grows stronger each year as we devote ourselves to common tasks.” –John F. Kennedy

The AUA and American Board of Urology (ABU) have a longstanding relationship based on cooperation and collaboration. The leadership of these 2 independent organizations meets annually to discuss and align each group’s strategic plans and goals.

Over the past couple of years, the ABU has been preparing for new Standards, which were released by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) on November 1, 2021. The standards for ABMS Member Board certification (both initial and continuing) reinforce the value of board certification to diplomates and patients as well as to health systems and regulatory bodies. The standards are designed to guide the 24 ABMS Member Boards in providing programs that help respective diplomates demonstrate their commitment to continuous learning, professionalism and patient care while improving the systems in which they work.1 These new standards will drive how the ABU engages with its diplomats in years to come.2

As a result of the new standards, which take effect on January 1, 2024, the ABU is piloting a transition of its Lifelong Learning program to a continuous, formative process called Continuing Urologic Certification (CUC). The ABU has developed this 2- to 3-year CUC pilot program to fulfill ABMS requirements for more consistent assessment of skills (in lieu of a single high-stakes examination) needed to deliver proper urological care.3

The longitudinal learning activity of the CUC pilot is based on 3 components that are completed over a 5-year cycle: Knowledge Reinforcement, Knowledge Exposure and Knowledge Assessment.

  • Knowledge Reinforcement is focused on basic information that the urologist should know.
  • Knowledge Exposure pertains to new information important for the practice of urology gained from contemporary journal articles and AUA Guidelines.
  • Knowledge Assessment identifies relevant gaps in knowledge.3
“The longitudinal learning activity of the CUC pilot is based on 3 components that are completed over a 5-year cycle: Knowledge Reinforcement, Knowledge Exposure and Knowledge Assessment.”

For detailed information on the ABU CUC Pilot program, please go to https://www.abu.org/learning/continuing-urologic-certification-cuc.

Based on the long-standing collaboration between the 2 organizations, the AUA’s expertise in medical education, and access to the AUA’s journals and guidelines, the ABU asked the AUA to develop the Knowledge Exposureportion of the pilot program to be delivered through AUAUniversity.

David B. Joseph, the Chair of the ABU’s Lifelong Learning Committee, shared: “The American Board of Urology is investigating an advancement in our Lifelong Learning program through Continuing Urologic Certification. This pilot program is based on contemporary educational activities utilizing technology that provides the diplomate with the opportunity to pursue self-paced learning in their own environment. We are pleased to collaborate with the American Urological Association, maximizing their educational resources and expertise with the development of the Knowledge Exposure component. Working together we can maintain a level of professional self-regulation within Urology that enhances knowledge, skill and patient care.”

The AUA’s Lifelong Learning Work Group, a subgroup of AUA Education Council members, will lead the selection of articles and the development of the assessment questions for this new activity, which will launch on March 1, 2022. During this pilot program, each diplomate currently enrolled in the pilot will complete 8 articles during years 2 and 4 of the 5-year cycle. At the conclusion of the cycle, the AUA will share each diplomate’s completion data with the ABU.

“This pilot program is based on contemporary educational activities utilizing technology that provides the diplomate with the opportunity to pursue self-paced learning in their own environment.”

As with all pilot programs, lessons will be learned, feedback will be evaluated and data will be analyzed to hopefully continuously optimize the diplomate experience while satisfying ABMS standards. The AUA Office of Education welcomes this new opportunity to collaborate with the ABU to support our members’ continuous learning. As always, I welcome your feedback. Please feel free to contact us at education@auanet.org.

  1. American Board of Medical Specialties: Board Certification Standards. 2021. Available at https://www.abms.org/board-certification/board-certification-standards/.
  2. American Board of Medical Specialties: American Board of Medical Specialties Announces New Standards for Continuing Certification. 2021. Available at https://www.abms.org/news-events/abms-announces-new-standards-for-continuing-certification/.
  3. American Board of Urology: Continuing Urologic Certification (CUC). 2021. Available at https://www.abu.org/learning/continuing-urologic-certification-cuc.
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