Much to love and learn in San Fran: A top 10 list for AUA 2018

Urology Times JournalVol. 46 No. 04
Volume 46
Issue 04

Urologist Henry Rosevear, MD, shares what he's most looking forward to at the AUA annual meeting in San Francisco.

Dr. Rosevear is a urologist in community practice in Colorado Springs, CO. Urology Times blogs present opinions, advice, and news from urologists and other urology professionals. Opinions expressed by bloggers are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Urology Times or its parent company, UBM Medica. Please let your voice be heard by joining the conversation in the comments section of each post.


“High on a hill, it calls to me,” Tony Bennett famously sang. “It,” of course, is San Francisco, and Bennett is not the only one to leave his heart there. Of all the cities where the AUA holds its annual meeting, this is probably my favorite. The food, the bay, the culture, and yes, the conference. AUA 2018 should be grand!

What specifically am I looking forward to this year? After reviewing the program and browsing the site, I made a list of the top 10 reasons I’m excited about this event.

Timing/format. Like other AUA members, I filled out a survey last year asking about the ideal number of days the conference should be, and the AUA apparently listened to our collective input. Unlike prior meetings that ran 5 days, this year’s is a compact 4 days long. The conference starts on May 18 and concludes May 21. Looking a year ahead, AUA 2019 in Chicago will also be 4 days, though it will be held a couple weeks earlier (May 3-6). The other good news about this year’s dates is that they don’t overlap with Mother’s Day (May 13), which should keep everyone out of trouble!

Online access. As far as I can tell, even though the conference is one less day this year, the volume of material being presented is about the same. With that in mind, I intend to once again purchase virtual access to the Instructional Courses. I could spend the entire 4 days in these courses, but there is too much else to learn to do that. For those not familiar with the Instructional Courses, this is a conference within the conference. World-renowned speakers give detailed break-out sessions on a wide range of topics. Three of the courses I’m most looking forward to are:

043IC: Novel Agents and Concepts in the Management of Hormone-Naïve and Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer. The growth of medications to treat advanced prostate cancer has been rapid and the role of the urologist in this space increasing. I am excited to learn about the next generation of drugs I will be prescribing.

025IC: Robotic Single-Port Surgery: Appropriate Adoption into Your Practice. I grew up with the da Vinci robot and am well aware of its limitations. Single-port surgery is the next step, and I am eager to learn how to incorporate it into my daily work.

022IC: Perioperative Opioid-Sparing Analgesia Strategies for Enhanced Recovery after Urologic Surgery. We are all aware of the ravages that the opioid crisis has inflicted upon society, and I am thrilled that the AUA is presenting a course on options to avoid or minimize the use of opioids after surgery while acknowledging that controlling acute pain is still a priority.Hands-On courses. Sometimes you just need to put your hands on something to learn a skill. With the rise of the in-office use of imaging, especially among physician extenders, the AUA is addressing the need for formal training by offering some great hands-on courses. Two that seem particularly interesting are course 101HO on Urologic Ultrasound and 103HO on MR US Fusion-Guided Prostate Biopsy.

The website. Having just designed my own website, I can truly appreciate how challenging it is to organize and present as much data as the AUA does on its annual meeting site. The AUA provides not only a PDF of the program but also a way to search for sessions by date, speaker, or topic. One of the best new features that’s worth exploring is the Educational Tracks feature. Have an interest in health policy? Click the link and up pops all of the relevant presentations. Same with a dozen other topics, ranging from various urologic cancers to pediatrics to practice management. Probably the best change to the website this year.

Guidelines. Lectures about clinical practice guidelines aren’t the “hippest” of talks but provide some of the highest yielding material at the conference. The AUA is the leading organization when it comes to analyzing the literature on a topic and summarizing it in a simple, easy-to-follow format. Two of the guidelines I’m most interested in reading are on LUTS Associated with BPH and the Evaluation and Management of Testosterone Deficiency. The guidelines will be presented as Instructional Courses (additional fee required) and Second Opinion Cases.

Court is in Session. One of my favorite sessions from last year is back again. Two sessions on Friday (1:35-2:15 and 2:15-3:00) will include a malpractice attorney as well as urologic experts as they walk through two tragic cases involving an opioid overdose and sepsis after prostate biopsy and the medicolegal implications thereof. Being sued is not something any of us want to think about, but it is part of our world and we should understand how to protect ourselves.

Crossfires: Controversies in Urology. Always a favorite. Three or four renowned experts presented with a less than straightforward situation debate the options. It always makes me feel better knowing that even the experts sometimes disagree on what to do next. The one session I’m most interested in will discuss “PSA of 4-10 gets an MRI not a Biopsy” (Monday, 1-1:30). I am certainly leaning toward the idea that MRI for an elevated PSA with no past biopsy is ready for prime time, and I hope the experts are too!Plenary session highlights. Quite simply, everything is great in the plenary session. If an attendee simply grabbed a cup of coffee, found a seat here, and stayed the entire time, it would be very good use of their time. With the understanding that you will need to time restroom breaks, here are some of the highlights you don’t want to miss:

Setbacks and Operative Solutions: Robotic Prostatectomy (Friday, 9:00-9:30). We all do this case and we all run into challenges. I’ll be here to learn how the experts navigate these unfortunate complications.

Presidential Address: Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and the Future of Urology (Saturday, 10:55-11:15). I believe the next generation of urologists will be able to more fully integrate artificial intelligence into both diagnosis and treatment of our conditions, and I am excited to hear how the AUA president thinks this will occur.

State-of-the-Art Lecture: Prostate Cancer: What PET to GET? (Sunday, 1:30-1:45). As our ability to effectively treat M0 and M1 castration-resistant prostate cancer increases, the need to be able to better diagnoses these conditions increases. This session promises to walk me through the numerous PET options available.

Panel Discussion: Where is the VALUE in CAP Active Surveillance Monitoring? Cost and Quality (Monday, 1:30-2:00). With the recent denial of the LUGPA localized prostate cancer APM by the government (a tragedy in my opinion given the quality of that APM), I am eager to learn more about how active surveillance of prostate cancer can help decrease overall costs without compromising the care of our patients.

Scientific program highlights. The latest and greatest in basic science and clinical research at your fingertips. If you aren’t busy enough with everything else, here are the two sessions I thought would be most interesting.

MPO4 Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: Epidemiology and Evaluation (Friday, 7:00-9:00). BPH is one of the most common conditions we treat and ensuring that we stay up to date on its management is vital.

MP31 Stone Disease: Medical and Dietary Therapy II (Saturday, 9:30-11:30). If BPH is the most common condition we treat, stones are what pay the mortgage. Session co-moderator Margaret Pearle, MD, PhD, is one of our leading minds on this topic, and a refresher on how to counsel patients on prevention sounds perfect.

San Francisco. Let’s not forget the city itself. I’m sure I’ll find myself at The Stinking Rose for dinner one night (a great restaurant if you enjoy garlic as much as I do). A good friend who lives in the Bay Area has been raving about a tap house called Cellarmaker Brewing as having the best beer in town (which says a lot given the options available), and my wife has already purchased tickets to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Finally, don’t forget to take some time to wander the Science & Technology Hall and catch up with old friends and colleagues. As always, this conference promises to be a whirlwind tour of urology, and I love it!



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