The 1st Meeting of the EAU Section of Urolithiasis took place in central London on 7-10 September. It was chaired by Mr. Noor Buchholz of Barts and the London NHS Trust. His responsibilities included putting together the scientific programme, inviting speakers and generally presiding over the four days of the meeting.
“At EULIS, we are interested in the metabolic side of stone formation. Why stones form and how we can prevent them rather than just operating on them,” Buchholz comments on the character of the meeting.
“In this meeting we are bringing together scientists and surgeons. There are surgeons with an interest in science, there are scientists with no medical interest other than stones, and there are surgeons without an interest in science. We have something for everybody. We have set up this meeting to include parallel sessions. There is always one session that focuses more on the metabolic/scientific side, and one session more focused on the surgical side. All the sessions are full, so we’re happy!”
The urolithiasis symposia have been taking place for 28 years, but this is the first meeting as a section of the EAU. Buchholz: “With the help of the EAU’s congress organisers, and also all the publicity we’ve had thanks to the EAU, we were able to achieve the respectable size of 400 delegates and 200 abstracts. This EULIS meeting has benefitted from the backing of the bigger organisation. Liaising with the international urological community is much easier because we have the EAU connection.”
The decision to hold the meeting in London was taken at the 2005 meeting in Coburg. “Back then, no-one knew that EULIS would be part of the EAU by now, so I have the honour of organising this first EAU Section meeting. I’ve been attending these conferences regularly since 1994, and I felt I should bring the meetings to London.”
Speaking on the state of urolithiasis in the United Kingdom, Buchholz explains: “In the UK, there is a strong drive towards subspecialisation. The stone field is becoming more and more separated. In our hospital, and others, you see the development of “stone centres”. We only do endourology and stones. Also, the UK has eminent researchers and surgeons in the stone field. Bill Robertson, for example, who just yesterday received the EULIS lifetime honorary membership.”