AUA 2017: A small-town plumber’s 10 can’t-miss sessions

March 15, 2017

In preparation for the AUA annual meeting in May, urologist Henry Rosevear, MD, shares the 10 sessions he’s looking forward to the most.

Henry Rosevear, MDI love the AUA's annual meeting. Where else can you geek out on every topic from the latest in infertility treatment to neuromodulation, all while catching up with old friends and colleagues? If I was a urologic oncologist who specialized in distal one-third left-sided ureteral tumors, perhaps I'd find the Society of Urological Oncology's annual meeting more useful (and to be fair, I've attended the SUO meeting and it’s great, if a bit intense). But for a small-town urologist like me, you can't beat the AUA annual meeting.

After poring over this year’s program, I’ve identified 10 sessions and features of this year’s event that I don’t want to miss.

1.Online access. It’s not a single session, but this year I'm going to try something a bit different. As you may know, I have four girls under five and while my wife is truly incredible, I somehow doubt she would be thrilled if I left her alone with the kids for a week. Instead of attending the entire conference, I'll be flying in for the weekend and then taking advantage of some of the online tools available to follow the rest of the it. For example, the On-Demand Course Pass records and then posts on the web all courses within 48 hours. The AUA does the same for the plenary session so now there is no reason to miss a lecture! Also, I highly recommend the AUA meeting mobile app. While this year's version wasn’t available at this writing, last year’s app was a lifesaver, as this meeting is simply too busy to navigate without some help. You should be able to find this year's app by searching iTunes for AUA 2017.

More from Dr. Rosevear: Men’s health: A forgotten topic

2.New guidelines. While I concede that I often skip the actual presentations about clinical practice guidelines, I am always interested to know what guidelines are being introduced or updated. The guideline writers do their job so well (their work is always easy to read and has plenty of background material) that the actual presentation is sometimes redundant. I do always read any guidelines that the AUA releases. This year, I'm particularly excited about guidelines on localized prostate cancer (divided into low-, intermediate-, and high-risk disease) that will be presented at the Friday morning plenary.

Next: Practice improvement

 

3. Practice improvement. For those of us not attending the two-day pre-AUA Practice Management Conference, two postgraduate instructional courses stand out as must-attends. My practice is considering hiring our first non-physician provider and, as such, Course 005IC on integrating an advanced practice nurse or physician assistant into your practice seems perfectly timed. Course 020IC, “Coding and Reimbursement Update 2017,” is also one I will attend, as I have no desire either to leave money on the table by inappropriately under-billing or to one day wear orange for over-billing.

4.Prostate cancer tests. It seems that every other week a different industry rep is at our door hawking what they claim is the latest and greatest genetic test for diagnosing and/or managing prostate cancer. Course 042IC on prostate cancer diagnostics seems to promise an unbiased summary of current technology and how best to use it. Further, while the data on MRI-US fusion biopsies did not impress me last year, the technology seems to be progressing and I'm curious if it is time for my group to invest in that tool. Course 047IC, which promises to be a multidisciplinary course on MRI-US fusion-guided biopsy, hopefully will answer that question.

5.Infertility. When I left residency, I didn't think I'd do much fertility but I was wrong. My most frequent infertility patient is not the re-married man requesting a vas reversal but the young couple simply having trouble conceiving. A Sunday morning plenary lecture on “Lifestyle Changes to Improve Fertility” may help me learn what, if anything, I can offer my patients who are not azoospermic but who are still failing to conceive. Being from Colorado, I'm especially curious to learn if there are any data on the possible effect of marijuana on fertility, as my patients certainly have opinions on its usefulness.

Related: Marijuana and me: A Colorado urologist’s experience

6.Shockwave lithotripsy for ED. For as long as I can remember, I have always seen a display in the Science and Technology Hall from a company selling a low-frequency shockwave lithotripsy device claiming it helps guys with refractory erectile dysfunction. It always seemed a bit like snake oil to me. Over the last year, however, I have encountered enough patients in my clinic who have either successfully tried the device or are inquired about it to make me reconsider. To my amazement, the AUA seems to be thinking the same way; during Sunday morning’s plenary sessions, there will be a point-counterpoint on the effectiveness of shockwave lithotripsy for erectile dysfunction. I look forward to learning if this is something we should embrace or not.

Next: Men's health/hypogonadism

 

7.Men’s health/hypogonadism. I acknowledge that the doc-in-a-box street corner men’s health clinic arose because we, in the urology community, were failing to meet a need, and I’ve made known my opinion on these over-charging and under-performing centers. As such, I was thrilled to read about course 046IC on creating a successful men's health clinic. It seems the best way to learn what to do to offer these services to my patients and prevent them from being taken advantage of by the local low testosterone clinic.

8.Complications. Maybe it’s because I am young and still naive to the world of surgery, but when I step back and think about what we do in the OR, it amazes me. With that in mind, I always try to attend at least one session on complications as a reminder that, borrowing a phrase from my mentor Richard D. Williams, MD, “S**t happens in the OR.” This year, I’ll be watching Patricio Gargollo, MD, present on “Surgical Misadventures and Complications of Robotic Reconstruction” on Friday morning. Leaving the AUA grounded in the reality of what can happen during surgery is never a bad thing.

9.Court in session. Speaking of complications, one of the new sessions at the AUA this year is entitled “Court is in Session.” This Friday afternoon plenary session aims to show us small-town plumbers what a real live courtroom situation would look like. I’m eager to report back on how this session works out!

Have you read: The ‘post-truth’ world: How it’s drifting into medicine

10.Poster, podium, and video presentations. If there is a cutting-edge portion of the meeting, this is it. The year’s most innovative, thought-provoking, and best research is presented here. While some of it never pans out, the vast majority of the next year’s major journal articles are being presented in some form here. Want to know what the trends in prostate cancer epidemiology are? Try one of the three sessions on this topic (PD3, MP14, PD47). Have an interest in the latest in infertility? Try session MP7 or PD8. If you’re seeing more nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer in your practice and wondering what’s new in the field, then session MP15, PD19, or PD48 is for you. Regardless of what your research or clinical interest is, I guarantee that you will find multiple sessions allowing you to leave Boston having learned something new.

I hope everyone else is as excited as I am about this year’s AUA, and I look forward to seeing you in Boston!

More from Urology Times:

Established patient return visits: How to avoid a denial

Ureteroscopy may adversely affect erectile function

What is the biggest stressor in your office?

To get weekly news from the leading news source for urologists, subscribe to the Urology Times eNews.