Urologist Henry Rosevear, MD, has put together a brief checklist for first-time attendees-and for veteran attendees as well.
Dr. RosevearIs attending the AUA annual meeting-the largest gathering of urologists in the world-a bit intimidating? I know it was for me the first time. With that in mind, I have put together a brief checklist for first-time attendees-and for veteran attendees as well. My hope is that reading this article will help you avoid some of my past mistakes.
Watch where you stay.
Unless you know San Diego well, either stay near the convention center or at an approved hotel. My first time at the AUA annual meeting, I was a resident and thought I would save money by finding a cheap hotel in San Francisco. Let’s just say I won’t be making that mistake again.
Review the meeting program ahead of time.
Unlike most other meetings I have attended, the AUA annual meeting often has three or four different sessions running simultaneously, and unless you plan ahead to prioritize your conference time, you’ll leave with regrets.
Attend a live surgery session.
Watching surgery is the equivalent of watching tape if you played a sport. Even if you don’t perform the case being broadcast, watching an expert perform a challenging and/or interesting case can make you a better surgeon. At this year’s meeting, the live surgery session on Monday, May 9 from 8-11 a.m. includes a robotic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection and a robotic cystectomy with intracorporeal diversion that should be interesting!
Attend a session on new guidelines.
Whether we like it or not, medicine is moving toward incorporating guidelines into our practice, and these sessions help explain how the committees arrived at the guidelines. I’m especially interested in Richard A. Santucci, MD,’s course on guidelines on urethral stricture disease (Sunday, May 8, 1-3 p.m.) and Sam S. Chang, MD,’s course on nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer guidelines (Sunday, May 8, 6-8 a.m.).
Learn something new.
Even for young urologists like myself, technological advances rapidly date the techniques that we spent hours learning in residency. This year, I’m particularly interested in learning more about the genomic markers used in diagnosis and management of prostate cancer (“Beyond PSA: Utilization of Novel Prostate Cancer Genomic Biomarkers for the Practicing Urologist,” Tuesday, May 10, 6-8 a.m.) as well as magnetic resonance imaging-ultrasound fusion targeted biopsies (“Optimizing Prostate Cancer Diagnostics: Transperineal, Transrectal and MRI-Ultrasound Fusion Targeted Biopsies,” Friday, May 6, 3:30-5:30 p.m.). I don’t know whether either of these techniques will stand the test of time, but I’m making a commitment to leave San Diego knowing more about them.
Medicine is straightforward. The law is not. “Court in Session: Clinical Lessons though a Legal Lens” (Monday, May 9, 1-3 p.m.) offers the chance to learn real-world lessons about legal cases that are unfortunately too common in our field (including delay in diagnosis of cancer and pregnancy after vasectomy).
Not only will all the major commercial vendors be present, but so will the William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History. Last year, the center had an incredible presentation called “Extreme Urology,” and I have no doubt that this year’s presentation will be equally interesting. The AUA Residents Bowl is also held in the Science and Technology Hall, and if you think you are up to date on your urology knowledge, I recommend watching this for a few minutes to ground yourself back in realty.
Catch up with old friends.
Whether it’s urologists we did away rotations with as medical students (I’m thinking of you, Manoj), former co-residents (does Urology Times make it to Burlington, Matt?), or former faculty (Karl, are you reading this? I mean, Dr. Kreder, sir?), go to the conference and the opportunities for conversations over coffee are endless.
Meet someone new.
The AUA is by far the most international conference I’ve ever attended. I’ve been to many other conferences, from sectional meetings to various subspecialty conferences, and none can compete with the sheer breadth of people who attend. Last year, I had conversations with urologists from four continents (North and South America, Europe, and Asia). I’m hoping to beat that this year, so if you live near a grocery store that actually sells Vegemite or are McMurdo Station’s resident urologist, I’d love to meet you!
Enjoy San Diego.
From the beaches to the perfect weather to the local craft brew scene (which, for those curious, is one of the best in the country; http://bit.ly/SanDiegocraftbeer), San Diego has a lot to offer.
Whatever reason brings you to San Diego this year, I hope this helps you make the best use of your time and if past AUA meetings are any guide, you won’t be disappointed!
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