Urologists - who are they?
Urologists are surgeons who treat men, women and children with problems involving the kidney, bladder, prostate and male reproductive organs. These conditions include cancer, stones, infection, incontinence, sexual dysfunction and pelvic floor problems. Urology is a challenging, innovative and technologically advanced surgical subspecialty.
- Urologists have a significant impact on the health and quality of life of their patients
- Urology is at the forefront of the use of minimally invasive treatment modalities
- Urology is a rewarding surgical sub-specialty of supportive, collegiate professionals
- Urology attracts high quality applicants and the selection process is always highly competitive.
What will make me the best candidate for urology?
Surgery is a career of life long learning. An applicant to urology will recognize this, and commence the journey. They will want to both improve their own competence, and enhance their chance of selection. Achievements and contributions outside medicine can tell as much about a person as those within. During selection, all applicants are asked to provide evidence of their efforts and achievements to date, and those within and outside medicine contribute to this assessment. Particular attention is paid to those achievements and experiences aligned to the nine RACS Competencies.
- Technical Expertise
- Medical Expertise
- Judgment - Clinical Decision Making
- Management and Leadership
- Health Advocacy
- Scholar and Teacher
- Professionalism and Ethics
More details of the RACS Competencies can be found on the College website www.surgeons.org.
A good urologist will display all of these qualities. We know that past behaviour predicts future performance, so we predict an individual who has worked hard to date will continue to strive in the future.
You should look at the above list of competencies, and seek out opportunities to improve your own skills in as many of these as you can. Some of these opportunities are:
- Research - look for opportunities to help with research. This can be as simple as a case study with literature review., or as complex as a MS or PhD
- Self Improvement - attend seminars, meetings, conferences, skills labs or workshops that have relevance to your training
- Teaching - be prepared to provide education to others in your professional environment (e.g nurses or students)
- Self-assessment - ask if you can be active in the quality assurance (audit) activities of of the unit
- Presenting - cases, reviews or papers at a local, regional, or broader forum
- Community Involvement - significant works and deeds to the benefit of the community are recognized in an application
- Qualifications - gain additional qualifications through a course or workshop in relevant areas if the opportunity arises. Possibilities include Management, Statistics, Leadership, Cultural Awareness, Teamwork, Communication, Education, Ethics, Epidemiology
- Personal Development - A range of personal development courses are run by the AMA, the various Medical Defence Organisations, RACS, Universities, and private institutions. They all teach life skills transferable to the role as a surgeon. They also enhance your application by "scoring" selection points. Show initiative, and attend some to develop your personal competence.
What documentation should I keep?
Anyone thinking of applying to urology should start by keeping a personal portfolio. This should include every piece of information or evidence that demonstrates what you have done in both your professional and personal life relevant to the above qualities.
Examples of relevant documentation include:
- All professional qualifications
- All courses attended
- All conferences, meetings, workshops, skills labs or seminars attended
- A logbook of clinical activity
- Copies of all posters, presentations, abstracts, publications
- Evidence of involvement in Audit
- Evidence of all teaching activities
- Copies of in-training assessments
- Evidence of notable achievements, and voluntary or charitable works
- Testimonials, letters of commendation or thanks, and references
- Elections to positions of responsibility
Who can I contact?
Education and Training Manager
Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand
Suite 512, Eastpoint
180 Ocean Street
EDGECLIFF NSW 2027
Tel: (02) 9362 8644
Fax: (02) 9362 1433