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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 215-216

Urology training: From schelp to jaunt

Visiting Professor and Director of Clinical Research, Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Date of Web Publication24-Jun-2009

Correspondence Address:
Mahendra Bhandari
Visiting Professor and Director of Clinical Research, Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.52922

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How to cite this article:
Bhandari M. Urology training: From schelp to jaunt. Indian J Urol 2009;25:215-6

How to cite this URL:
Bhandari M. Urology training: From schelp to jaunt. Indian J Urol [serial online] 2009 [cited 2021 Oct 23];25:215-6. Available from:

The purpose of higher medical education is the behavioral transformation of a learner by building, with incremental wisdom and sensitivity, his ability to convert imbibed knowledge into intuitive thinking and application. Astounding conceptual and technological advances in the past few decades have placed the curriculum of urology-training programs on a dynamic wheel and the line between technological hype and vision for the future has become imaginary. Despite a wide variation in regional patterns of diseases, socio-economic cultures, and practices, I consider the training of an urologist to be a global concern. To build the model urologist, we need to weave a pattern appropriate to respective regions but over a common fabric of universal knowledge creation and sharing. The growing trend of exchanging trainees eager to fill the gaps in their knowledge, by learning from high-volume centers of excellence across the world, is already paying rich dividends. Such exchanges encourage cross-pollination of knowledge, evolution of technique practices, and restrict the growth of dogmatism. They have also facilitated easy portability of trained urological manpower to regions of their liking and need.

The image of a trained urologist, in my mind, is the one who knows how to learn and has a sense of distinction between what he knows and what he does not know. His wisdom would allow him to proficiently balance his enthusiasm for action with watchful expectancy. He should develop a persistence to push the boundaries of knowledge and be passionate to say or publish ideas of his own, which his peers can recognize and practice. Focused attention to minor details, a questioning mind, and skills in the art of truthful communication would earn him appreciation from elite academicians, irrespective of his professional affiliation.

While attending the premier Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, I have been impressed with some of the teaching practices used. The techniques, which ensure almost no space between teaching and learning, are rarely found among even the best urology programs. We need to make the entire training program learner-centric and 'just in time'. A tailored approach catering to strengths and weaknesses would be worth considering in designing a personalized training program for the needs of each trainee.

A teacher's role in facilitating knowledge is similar to the parental role in upbringing their children. In both scenarios, preaching and sermons have poor outcomes and limited lasting value. Like a child, trainees also look deep into the lives of their teachers searching for a role model. The commonality in the best programs across the world is the iconic and towering professional personality of its teachers, which could be distinctly mirrored in the personality of their students. Hence, we as teachers need to work more on ourselves rather than the residents. A teacher who is a powerhouse of knowledge, a prolific writer, a voracious reader, an intuitive thinker and, above all, a kindhearted human being, leaves an indelible mark on the psyche of his student. In the same vein, departmental leadership should also recognize, empower, and nurture talent. An ideal department should be a hub of inspiration and facilitate the teaching and learning processes.

The Indian urology-training programs need to focus on creating identity branding by committing to unique and uniform standards. The scope of work they do needs to be brought to the international mainstream with quality publications. There is also a need to auto-regulate standards of training at each center. There is an immense need for investment on meticulous data capturing, maintenance, analysis, and publications on unique, region-specific experiences on conditions such as genitourinary tuberculosis, epidemics of stone disease, chyluria, stricture urethra, and urinary fistula in females. In these areas, Indian urologists could truly be the torchbearers of knowledge for the rest of the world.

I would like to express my deep sense of gratitude to the galaxy of authors who have contributed to this issue; they are the global stars of urology academia.

They participated despite their nagging schedule, which speaks volumes about their commitment to urologic education. I thank the Editor of the Indian Journal of Urology for giving me an opportunity to put this issue together. I also recognize the help I received from Arun, Siddharth, and Karun in bringing this issue to its current shape.


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