Students for Urology (SFU) was created in 2020 to be a national society and platform committed to promoting Urology amongst medical students, Foundation Year (FY) doctors and Core Surgical (CS) Trainees.
I was originally approached with this idea by three medical students from Keele University: Syed Zaidi, Sofian Youssef and Sandesh Shrestha. They had noticed attention to Urology at an undergraduate level was lacking and so we sought to find a way to create opportunities in this field for future students.
Our intention at SFU is to encourage our members to participate in national and regional urological events as well as to use the society as a means to eventually ease into the speciality registrar network. In particular, we hope to provide a supportive environment for FY doctors and CS trainees as they increase their knowledge and progress through their chosen career path.
Our aims are:
1. To form an ongoing platform to establish SFU’s online presence and accessibility.
2. To create online content and encourage membership to SFU and the British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS)
3. To provide earlier exposure of the specialty to medical students, facilitating them to pursue a career in Urology.
4. To enhance the ability for FY doctors and CS trainees to show their commitment to the speciality.
5. To form a nationwide group of representatives of the society in every medical school and deanery in the UK.
As a result of a collaboration between BAUS, BSoT and the SFU committee, together we have collated a range of resources to aid those interested in Urology at all levels. We hope you find this website useful in the pursuit of your chosen career.
Mr Herman Fernando MS DNB MRCS MD FRCS (Urol) FEBU
Consultant Urological Surgeon, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust
Honorary Clinical Lecturer, Keele University
I am so pleased to see this initiative from Herman Fernando and the young graduates from Keele. We are very aware in BAUS of the need to kindle enthusiasm about urology amongst students and young doctors, particularly at a time when so few students have any meaningful clinical exposure to our specialty.
I myself needed a push towards the specialty back in 1992. I had avoided urology as a student and young doctor – I thought it was dull ! How wrong I was and it was only when I had to do it as part of a rotation that I realised its full breadth. Breadth I think is the key. Five cancers, stones, the prostate, infections, congenital anomalies, strictures, continence, diagnostics, infertility, sexual dysfunction, robotics, endourology, open surgery or no surgery at all. It doesn’t fence you in …
There are wonderful fascinating careers to be enjoyed in urology and there will continue to be for years to come.
I am delighted to support the programme.
Mr Tim O’Brien MA DM FRCS (Urol)
Consultant Urological Surgeon, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
President of the British Association of Urological Surgeons
I fully endorse and support this excellent website for medical students and doctors interested in a career in Urology. It is run by medical students offering a range of educational links and resources that are specifically aimed at this cohort. Over time, part of it will become a repository that medical students can use to record their elective placements and student selected study components allowing others to benefit from previous experiences and promote Urology.
As the medical student curriculum increases covering all specialties having a website that is free to access that contains up to date and useful links to help gain Urology knowledge can only be a positive and worthwhile asset to those interested in a career in Urology. I look forward to seeing the website develop and flourish.
Mr Toby Page MBBS BSc PhD MRCS FRCS (Urol)
Consultant Urological Surgeon, Freeman Hospital
Urology is often unrepresented at undergraduate level. We know it is a fantastically diverse speciality, that offers an abundance of opportunity and variety to those interested in surgery. I am delighted to see such enthusiasm from medical students and junior doctors to create a resource for educational content, urology student-selected placements, a medical school urology network and an undergraduate urology curriculum.
As BSoT (BAUS Section of Trainees) we look forward to collaborating closely with SFU to reach our common goal of recruiting more students and junior doctors into our speciality. I am excited to endorse a great initiative.
Mr Sotonye Tolofari MBChB BSc(Hons) MRCS FRCS(Urol)
ST7 Urological Surgery StR, Health Education North West
Urology is a specialty which focuses and provides care for medical and surgical diseases of the male and female genitourinary systems. The discipline also extends to treating diseases of the male reproductive system. It is a stimulating and rewarding specialty with a wide scope of work, ranging from urinary tract infections, renal stones to complex traumas, malignancies and even transplantation.
In order to tackle this vast array of pathologies, a variety of practical skills are employed and technology such as ultrasound and fibre optics are utilised. Surgical skills include traditional open surgery and laparoscopy. With the advent of robotic surgery, this has added to the opportunities for aspiring and trainee urologists to venture into advanced surgical approaches, thus making the field even more challenging and rewarding.
Sub-specialties include oncology, reconstructive urology, andrology, paediatric urology and endo-urology to name but a few. The rich variety of the field enables enthusiasts and trainees to pursue their personal areas of interests within urology.
The lifestyle of urologists can also be seen as appealing for students and trainees. The lower on-call demand of the specialty makes it easier to attain a greater work-life balance, especially as it is a surgical discipline. This is manifested in the fact it has the highest number of part-time trainees.
Moreover, 25% of urologists are females, which is the highest female representation compared to any other surgical specialty. With all these benefits in mind, it is easy to see why there is a natural draw toward Urology for those that realise these points.