The end of 2011 brought us exciting news: we welcome a new section into our network, a section which will bring a narrow specialist focus to the development of robotics in urology. As of December 2011 the European Robotic Urology Society has become part of the European Association of Urology and will now function as the EAU Robotic Urology Section.
The Section will retain its abbreviation and will continue its work under the name of ERUS. This merge came to fruition after a period of negotiation, after which the ERUS Board unanimously supported the transition of the society into the new section of the EAU. This change brings a great deal of added value to both organisations. The EAU has an immense infrastructure in place and the scope of its activities and experience will enable ERUS to formulate and implement its objectives on a larger scale, translating the benefits of its work into the every-day practice of thousands of EAU members. The EAU, on the other hand, is looking forward to bringing top expertise on robotics into its think-tank and strategic development.
The use of robotics in urology has many implications – both in science and in clinical practice. Both the EAU and ERUS recognise these implications and are looking forward to joining their efforts in tackling many of the pressing issues that have accumulated in the last decade. Robot-assisted laparoscopy has enjoyed a remarkable success over the last years with expanding indications from radical prostatectomy and pyeloplasty to partial nephrectomy and radical cystectomy. At the same time, a range of issues have remained unaddressed, including a certain lack of well-designed scientific studies focused on clinical outcomes, unbiased patient information on these procedures and the absence of an expansive European platform to formulate consensus expert opinions on the issues at hand.
These issues, in turn, have led to a somewhat fragmented approach to education and training in the field of robot-assisted procedures, which is already a challenge due to the expected learning curve and the need for expert mentorship. Training in robotics is addressed differently throughout Europe and best practices are still to be formulated.
All these trends and developments translate into a set of challenging and exciting tasks for the EAU Robotic Urology Section. To achieve some of these objectives, the ERUS will cooperate with the European School of Urology (ESU), European Urology Scholarship Programme (EUSP) and the EAU Section of Uro-Technology (ESUT) to develop training and fellowship programmes, educational courses and masterclasses which would advance the expertise and professional development of EAU members, as well as other delegates who attend EAU-organised events.
We are very much looking forward to the new opportunities and activities that the ERUS expertise and enthusiasm will bring to the EAU network, and invite everybody with an interest in robotic surgery to the ERUS-organised meeting in London, which will take place on 26-28 September 2012 (www.erus2012.com).
ERUS Board Members
Alex Mottrie -Chairman
Peter Wiklund – Vice Chairman
Thiery Piechaud – ESUT representative
Magnus Annerstedt – Treasurer
Charles Henry Rochat
Henk van der Poel
Walter Artibani – EAU representative ex officio