ABU votes in favor of pediatric urology certificate

December 23, 2004

After years of debate, the American Board of Urology has voted to submit an application to the American Board of Medical Specialties for approval of a Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in pediatric urology.

After years of debate, the American Board of Urology has voted to submit an application to the American Board of Medical Specialties for approval of a Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in pediatric urology.

"This has been discussed for at least 20 years," said Stuart Howards, MD, executive secretary of the American Board of Urology. "There was concern about whether this would divide urology. Finally, the group said, 'No, it won't.' "

The approval process for the CAQ could take up to 2 years, Dr. Howards said. First, the application must be finalized and approved by the American Board of Urology, which should happen in early 2005, then it will go to the American Board of Medical Specialties for approval.

Representatives of both the ABU and the pediatric urology advisory council to the board agreed that the new certificate would have little impact on general urologists, as a large percentage of pediatric urology procedures are currently performed by pediatric urologists.

"A CAQ does not limit generalists from doing small procedures like circumcisions or undescended testes," Dr. Howards said. "[Performing those procedures] will not be looked on in a negative way by the board or anyone else."

"The main beneficiaries are patients and their families," said H. Gil Rushton, MD, executive secretary of the pediatric urology advisory council, which was formed in 2000 to serve as the liaison between the ABU and the leadership in pediatric urology on discussions related to certification, training, and research. "It also recognizes the additional training of those individuals that qualify for a CAQ. As far as general urologists, it probably has very little effect in today's world."

Joseph A. Smith, Jr, MD, current ABU president, called the board's vote "the culmination of a lot of work by the pediatric urology advisory council and the board."