The American Urological Association (AUA) 2022 meeting in New Orleans, LA was a long-awaited return to an in-person (with hybrid option) meeting format. Although the national organization has done a great job offering a digital learning interface over the past three years, nothing quite matched the experience of being on-site. I truly enjoyed seeing and interacting with friends and colleagues, attending a variety of educational sessions, eating great food, and experiencing the vibrant New Orleans environment.
One of the novel aspects of the 2022 AUA Meeting was the hybrid format which more readily allowed access to a wealth of instructive material presented in the meeting. A quote by Vanessa Vega (Edutopia Research Analyst) states, “At the heart of effective technology integration, technology offers opportunities to be more actively involved in the learning experience.” I truly felt that was the case when using the online meeting platform which allowed me to watch content via livestream without having to race back and forth between sessions (or have to choose between sessions). Perhaps, even better, the online meeting platform with all of the captured content will be available for access until August 31, 2022 thereby allowing all of us to watch at leisure now that we have traveled back home. I am certain that the hybrid format will be part of the meeting experience in years to come.
In addition to the hybrid meeting format, I was particularly interested in the launch of the new AUA Institute for Leadership and Business in New Orleans. We all recognize that the AUA has long been the leading provider of clinical education for urologists. The reality, however, is that urologists increasingly need an improved knowledge base to navigate the increasingly complex business landscape of medicine. Understanding compensation models and employment contracts, contract negotiations, and developing leadership skills are all critically important in our careers, and therefore providing education in these areas is critical.
The inaugural new course in this space, The Economics of Healthcare: Understanding Physician Compensation, was developed by Dr. McConnell and Dr. Kenneth Berger and ran as a pre-meeting course at AUA 2022. This all-day course featured an outstanding array of speakers with expertise in various elements on the business side of urology. I particularly enjoyed the interactive format which allowed participants to discuss their practice-specific scenarios in small groups. I certainly think that the offerings from this newly formed Institute will complement a lot of the clinical education that we already receive.
Overall, the AUA 2022 meeting was tremendously enjoyable and a welcome return of our national conference. The ever-adapting format and some of the new content focus added a spin that was unique when compared to pre-pandemic meetings.
Dr. Raman is the Chair of Education for the American Urological Association. He is a paid consultant as Chair of the AUA Office of Education and received travel support to attend the annual AUA conference.
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