Improving patient engagement, resolving critical care issues, and advancing diversity in urologic oncology were some of the themes to emerge during the 117th American Urological Association (AUA) annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.
“Engaging patients is a challenge to our care delivery and research priorities, but it is worth our time,” said Dr. Angela Smith, director of urologic oncology at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “This can lead to better outcomes and reduced cost."
Burnout and work-life balance were other topics of interest at the event, held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center May 13-15 and the largest gathering of urologists in the world, according to organizers.
Single-use endoscopy was featured May 14 as part of a plenary entitled, “State-of-The-Art Lecture: Single-Use Ureteroscopes and New Technology: What Is in Store?”
Dr. Ben H. Chew, director of clinical research at the Stone Center at Vancouver General Hospital and associate professor of urology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, discussed the features and benefits of a ureteroscope with laser automation.
He also detailed new single-use digital ureteroscopes with enhanced resolution, imaging, and contrast, and shared a cost analysis of single-use and reusable scopes.
One study addressed urologic workforce shortages and physician burnout, as both issues pose threats to a stable healthcare workforce.
In one survey, more than half — 53 percent — of female urologists between the ages of 35 and 44 said they felt burned out.
How Social Media Plays a Role In Patient Engagement
One topic of interest among young urologists was the ability to engage patients through social media and how to best use those platforms to influence patients.
Social media can help a urologist’s professional reputation when used effectively. It can result in patient referrals, especially younger patients who’ve grown up with social media, said Dr. Sammy Elsamara, an associate professor at Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and the AUA’s Young Urologist Committee chair.
Panelists who were part of the Young Urologists Forum suggested using social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to answer patient questions, share studies, and provide helpful healthcare information.
Leading the Charge to Increase Diversity in Urologic Oncology
The AUA’s work enhancing cultural diversity and inclusion was highlighted on a panel discussion called, “Women in Urologic Oncology: Past, Present, and Future.”
Dr. Cheryl Lee, professor of urology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, called attention to women trailblazers such as Dr. Elisabeth Pickett, who became the first board-certified female urologist in 1962.
Lee spoke with Single-Use Endoscopy in 2021 about bladder cancer research and diagnosis.