Training and development (urology)
This page provides useful information on the training and development for this specialty and also has tips for people at all stages of their career including medical school.
Core Surgical Training
Core surgical training lasts two years and provides training in a hospital in a range of surgical specialties. At present there are 31 core surgical posts which are themed towards urology, but it is also possible to take a more general training. During the first two years of your training you must take the examination to give you membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS). You will need at least six months’ experience in urology during your core surgical training if you wish to progress to specialist urology training. .
Following successful completion of your core surgical training it is necessary to apply competitively for the next phase of your training (ST3).
ST3 Specialty Urology Training
Specialty urology training (ST3) takes five years, although this can vary according to individual circumstances. During this time you will be employed as a specialty registrar. At the end of this training you can then apply for consultant posts. However, before you can do this you must pass the Intercollegiate Specialty Examination (FRCS). Once you have passed this you will receive a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and you will be eligible to be on the GMC Specialist Register.
Completion of other training courses such as Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Basic Surgical Skills and Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient (CCrISP) will also greatly enhance your application for ST3 training.
Selection panels also look for evidence of academic and research achievements, such as degrees, prizes, awards, distinctions, publications and presentations. An understanding of research, audit and teaching is also important. Entry is highly competitive so you will need achievements that are relevant to urology. Completion of an elective in urology will demonstrate your commitment to the selection panel.
Getting in tips
It is important to develop your practical skills and interest in surgery as early as you can. This will also give you valuable experience to add to your CV. The British Association of Urological Surgeons recommends that you gain experience within urology as early as possible in your career, preferably during your medical school training. .
The Oriel website has detailed information on entry requirement, including the person specifications for ST3 training in urology.
The BMJ Careers website has a useful article ‘How to succeed in ST3 general surgery recruitment’ which although aimed at general surgery has lots of tips and advice for all ST3 surgery applicants.
Tips for medical students
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- join your university surgical society
- look at the undergraduate curriculum in urology developed by the British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS)
- enter the BAUS Annual Medical Student Essay Competition and contact their Local Champion for Medical Schools for advice and support with this
- attend conferences on surgery for medical students – this will give you an opportunity to network and meet your future colleagues
- undertake a special study module or project in surgery/urology and choose an elective in surgery/urology
- become an Affiliate of the Royal College of Surgeons or the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Tips for foundation trainees
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- make contact with urologists in your hospital - offer to help with research projects or audit
- attend courses such as those offered by the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh – topics include surgical skills, interview skills for core surgical training and career-planning
- ensure your e-portfolio has plenty of surgery evidence (ideally but not necessarily urology) and that this is kept properly up-to-date
- join BAUS as a trainee member or join the Royal College of Surgeons as an Affiliate
- try to gain teaching and management experience
Tips for core and specialist trainees
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- study for the examinations for the membership of your chosen Royal College
- continue to develop your practical and academic expertise.
- undertake a research project
- try to get some of your work published and present at national and international meetings
- join or start a Journal Club (a group who meet to critically evaluate academic research)
- join BAUS as a trainee member
- teach junior colleagues
- take on any management opportunities you are offered