Let's Talk Surgery Podcast, Surgical Crossroads: Choosing your specialty - the Urology episode

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Welcome to the Urology episode of the Let's Talk Surgery Podcast, Surgical Crossroads series.
Neil Fenn is a Consultant Urologist at Morriston Hospital Swansea and Chair of the Surgical Specialty Board (SSB) in Urology at the RCSEd. He always wanted to be a surgeon, and after qualifying from the University of Wales he completed his basic surgical and urology training in South Wales. He developed his sub-specialist interest in the management of urological malignancy and its treatment during fellowships at Flinders University, Adelaide and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

During the last 20 years as a consultant, he has developed a minimally invasive service for patients in South West Wales including laparoscopic nephrectomy, partial nephrectomy and pyeloplasty. In co-operation with colleagues from Cardiff and Newport he is developing the first robotically assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy service in Wales. He has enjoyed seeing the development of this type of surgery over the last 20 years with better outcomes for patients.

Neil is an active trainer. He is an assigned educational and clinical supervisor to all grades of junior surgical trainee doctors. From 2007-2011 he was the program director for urological training in Wales and oversaw the introduction of a new national curriculum. He is currently involved in putting together an online modular urology curriculum and teaching aids that can be used for all medical students with the SSB in Urology.

Our registrar for this episode is Kamran Hag, currently working in the northeast of England. Kamran completed his foundation year training in Derriford hospital, Plymouth where he had his first exposure to surgery and subsequently chose this as his career path. During his core training post in the Kent Surrey and Sussex deanery he undertook a four-month placement in urology and soon decided it was the specialty for him. After six more months of urology and a frantic few weeks polishing his portfolio, he was able to secure a registrar post. Kamran is currently entering his final year of training, after which he hopes to undertake a post CCT fellowship in renal cancer.

Our panel give us a comprehensive overview of urology as a specialty, including the busy nature of on-call, urology emergencies and the key role of robotics. They emphasise the importance of getting hands-on experience and explain that there are elements of urology that trainees can get involved with at a junior stage. Urology incorporates a huge spectrum of procedures and sub-specialties, “there's something for everyone”, and those working in urology are known for being supportive and friendly mentors and teachers.

For trainees interested in urology there are numerous routes into the specialty to suit a variety of skillsets. You are encouraged to get involved with societies, including the British Association of Urological Surgeons, which has a medical students branch, and the SSB in urology for the Royal College of Edinburgh.

Contact Information
Visit https://www.rcsed.ac.uk/ for further information and details on becoming a member.

Email: comms@rcsed.ac.uk for any questions or topic suggestions you may have for future episodes.

This show is brought to you by the RCSEd. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram. Hosted by Greg Ekatah, Sesi Hotonu and Sadie Khwaja produced and directed by Heather Pownall of Heather's Media Hub Ltd.

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