EAU-USANZ Trainee Week broadens horizons on urological care

In September 2023, while participating at the European Urology Residents Education Programme (EUREP) in Prague, we received an email about the opportunity to attend the annual Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ) Trainee Week which was held in Adelaide, Australia. One month later, it was confirmed; we had the honour of representing the European Association of Urology (EAU) at the prestigious USANZ programme.

Mon, 27 May 2024 • By Dr. Victoria Mari and Dr. Wouter van der Sanden

The USANZ representatives, Ms. Jenny Hislop and Ms. Deborah Klein, contacted us directly to arrange details for our upcoming long trip to Adelaide, Australia. We were truly thankful for their help and support. The European Association of Urology (EAU) arranged our flights so we travelled to Australia in mid-November for our unforgettable experience.

Upon our arrival after a lengthy flight, we were greeted with genuine warmth and hospitality by the USANZ representatives and the convenor, Mr. Rick Catterwel. Throughout the week, the exceptional hospitality from everyone made us feel welcome and appreciated in a foreign land. It was a surprise how interested they were in us and answered every single question we had. They seemed thankful that we travelled all this way to meet them and made us feel at home.

The first day of the scientific programme, we had the chance to watch the stimulation final test the USANZ members had to take in real time. It had the actual questions, answers from the candidates, and comments from the examiners. This gave us an insight of their exams and what the process is like in Australia or New Zealand, as well as, the opportunity to meet the USANZ members and examiners.

The scientific programme was meticulously crafted; it offered a comprehensive overview of crucial urological topics at a brisk pace. From discussions on upper tract cancer to insights into post-vasectomy pain management, and from exploring neurogenic bladder disorders to addressing the complexities of penile cancer, the breadth and depth of the discussions were impressive. Due to the fast pace and the multitude of speakers, which included both seasoned urologists and fellow residents, the programme remained engaging and intellectually stimulating.

We were with other participants (pictured from from left to right) Drs. Nancy Nimer, Yasir Rasheed, and Mezbah Moker Rabin.

In addition to the rigorous scientific agenda, the organisers thoughtfully arranged various social activities, providing invaluable opportunities for networking, exchanging experiences, and forging friendships. These activities ranged from informal gatherings to structured social events which provided the opportunity to get to know each other better and exchange experiences.

The most rememberable activity was the visit in Cleland Wildfire Park which was fully planned and paid by the USANZ organisers for the international members. After partaking in the programme, we went to the park and spent the whole afternoon with a local guide. We had the chance to watch rare animals. It was a remarkable day that we will never forget.

One of the most enriching aspects of our experience was the opportunity to be part of an international delegation. Interacting with peers from diverse backgrounds and countries, which included Canada, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore, and Japan, provided us with invaluable insights into different healthcare systems, cultural perspectives, and approaches to urological practice. The cross-cultural exchange not only broadened our horizons but also deepened our appreciation for the global nature of urological care.

We are immensely grateful to USANZ and the EAU for their unwavering support and the commitment to fostering international collaboration and professional development. Without a doubt, this exchange experience left an indelible mark on our careers as urologists, equipping us with valuable knowledge, skills, and friendships that will continue to shape our professional journeys for years to come.

We definitely recommend to future EUREP participants to apply for the exchange programmes so that they would meet more wonderful people and have the opportunities that we had. It was an once-in-a-lifetime experience.