Boost your career in 2011: apply for scholarship this winter!

Tue, 1 Feb 2011

European Urology Scholarship Programme (EUSP) offers numerous opportunities for professional growth and development. Make use of these opportunities and apply for a urological scholarship before 31 March 2011. Depending on your level and field of expertise, you can choose between several programmes and boost your skills at one of Europe’s top urology departments.

EUSP runs several initiatives, which include the short term visit, the clinical visit, the clinical research fellowship, the visiting professor programme and the one-year scholarship.

“The EAU is dedicated to providing the young motivated specialists with educational and training opportunities and EUSP is among its most dynamic and fast-developing programmes,” according to Prof. C. Abbou, France, who chairs the EUSP Office.

In 2010, Dr. Marleen van den Heijkant, from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, was among one of the EUSP participants who completed a three-month clinical fellowship. Her programme was focused on paediatric urology which she followed at St. James Hospital, NHS trust, in Leeds, UK. On the completion of her programme she followed up with a report about her experience, which is cited below.

Experiencing the scope of paediatric urology practiceBy Dr. Marleen van den Heijkant

The aim of the fellowship was to obtain insight into paediatric urology practice and my objectives were to examine the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and follow up in this population of children. Moreover, I planned to carry out a clinical research project in girls with urinary tract infections (UTI’s) who underwent endoscopic correction of vesicoureteral reflux (VUR).

St. James Hospital is a member of the NHS trust, currently one of the largest organisations in the UK, employing 14000 members of staff and hosting 2200 beds. The Paediatric Urology Unit is integrated into the Department of Paediatric Surgery and employs three paediatric urologists, six registrars and two clinical nurse specialists. Recently, the Paediatric Urology Unit has received certification to train a Fellow of the European Academy of Paediatric Urology.

The unit has a combined ward for Paediatric Urology and Paediatric Nephrology. Two operating theatres a day are available for the Paediatric Surgery Department. Leeds has been at the forefront of the development of minimally-invasive surgery and has been recognised by the Royal College of Surgeons and Department of Health as one of the few designated training centres in the UK. Internationally, Leeds is one of the few centres undertaking robotic laparoscopic paediatric urology procedures. COPU, an ESPU-recognised international training acourse in operative paediatric urology is regularly organised since 5 years ago.

I completed my fellowship with Ramnath Subramaniam, training in his clinic both on the inpatient and outpatient basis. Mr. Subramaniam is an excellent paediatric surgeon and an inspiring teacher. Although I could not work as a consultant, I was able to attend the clinic and follow the operations. I gained important insights regarding various aspects of tissue handling in children and the indications of laparascopic, retroperitoneoscopic as well as robotic approach for pyeloplasty in children.

I examined the role of endoscopic correction of VUR in the management of UTI in toilet trained and non-toilet trained girls. This study was supervised by Ramnath Subramaniam and Sally Feather, paediatric nephrologist. My second study focused on the outcomes of bladder neck keel repair for bladder outlet incompetence in children, whereas the third study was a case series of four boys with an absent bladder neck and trigone revealed by cystoscopy.

This three-month clinical fellowship certainly enhanced my knowledge in the field and met all of my expectations and more. I would like to thank the EUSP Board as well as Mr. Subramaniam, Prof. Thomas, Mr. Najmaldin, nursing and theatre stuff for their hospitality and commitment to training.

I would recommend all young urologists to apply for EUSP grants and develop their skills in urology. I had a wonderful time as a member of this excellent clinic and I could not think of a better start of a carrier in paediatric urology.