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The academic year of the Urological Section of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) started with a bang in October last year with the Paediatric Urology meeting, co-organised by Shabnam Undre (Paediatric Representative for BAUS and Consultant Paediatric Urologist East and North Herts NHS Trust), Mr Abraham Cherian (Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, Great Ormond Street Hospital) and myself (Robotic Fellow, University College London Hospital), followed by the Presidential Address by Professor James Green.

Many adult urology specialist registrars find paediatric urology a daunting subject, which is perhaps unsurprising given the very distinctly different anatomy, pathophysiology, treatment options, the cultural difference between paediatric and adult practices, and sometime limited clinical exposure during our training. The day was therefore designed to cover paediatric urological conditions and patients from antenatal diagnosis through the immediate post-delivery period and onto transitional care, that are commonly seen in general and specialist clinics as well as the more complex urogenital abnormalities.


Multidisciplinary team session on antenatal counselling of common urological anomalies, with Dr Jonathan Keftas (Neontologist), Dr Faidra Veligratli (Paediatric Nephrologist), Mr Abraham Cherian (Paediatric Urologist), Dr Rob Sawdy (Fetal Medicine), and Miss Narin Suleyman (L-R). 


The academic programme of the day started with Mr Freddie Banks (Consultant Urological Surgeon, Watford General Hospital) and Miss Shabnam Undre (Consultant Paediatric Urologist East and North Herts NHS Trust) on the subjects of foreskin and testis, followed by a talk on decision making in hypospadias by Professor Peter Cuckow (Consultant Paediatric Urologist, formerly at Great Ormond Street Hospital). The first session was closed by my talk on training opportunities in paediatric urology, where I discussed the current paediatric curriculum and requirements for the FRCS(Urol) examination and Completion of Certification in Urology.


Ms Nadine Coull (Past President of RSM Section of Urology),
Miss Rebecca Tregunna and Miss Shabnam Undre (L-R). 


After a coffee break, Mrs Brenda Cheer, a Paediatric Specialist Continence Nurse from Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence (ERIC – Children’s Bowel and Bladder Charity), in conjunction with Ms Karen Ryan (Specialist Paediatric Urology Nurse at GOSH) and Ms Fiona Marks (Specialist Paediatric Urology Nurse at Evelina Childrens Hospital), spoke to us about the invaluable resources they provide to both patients and healthcare professionals. This was nicely followed by Ms Anu Paul (Consultant Paediatric Urologist, Evelina Childrens Hospital) who spoke on the practical approach to urinary tract infections in children.

Following lunch, we were treated to a multidisciplinary team (MDT) session on antenatal counselling of common urological anomalies: pelvic-ureteric junction obstruction (PUJO), vesicoureteric reflux (VUR), vesico-ureteric junction obstruction (VUJO), and posterior urethral valve (PUV). The session was aptly provided jointly by Dr Faidra Veligratli (Paediatric Nephrologist, GOSH), Dr Rob Sawdy (Consultant Obs & Gyn with special interest in Foetal Medicine), Dorset NHSFT (Poole hospital and Royal Bournemouth Hospital) and Dorset County hospital, Dr Jonathan Kefas (Consultant Neonatologist, East and North Herts NHS Trust) and Miss Narin Suleyman (Consultant Urological Surgeon with special interest in Paediatric Urology, East and North Herts NHS Trust); highlighting the importance of clinical expertise in a MDT setting in the management of these common conditions.


Miss Shabnam Undre chairing the session on complex urogenital malformation, congenital
life-long urology and transition, and case discussions: difficult cases, tips and tricks. 


This was followed by a talk on postnatal intervention in antenatal hydronephrosis given by Mr Neil Featherstone (Consultant Paediatric Urologist, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) and Ms May Bisharat (Consultant Paediatric Urologists, Addenbrookes Hospital).

After another coffee break, we were treated to a talk by Mr Abraham Cherian, a well-respected Consultant Paediatric Urological Surgeon, on complex urogenital malformation. He delivered it in his signature thoughtful and practical approach, at a level that could be easily understood by the attending adult urology colleagues, and imparted knowledge to us that hopefully will be brought into our clinical practice. Last, but certainly not least, we were privileged to have Professor Dan Wood (Professor of Urology, Children’s Hospital Colorado, United States), visiting from over the pond to tell us about congenital life-long urology and transition to adult urology.

Over the last two decades, there has been a shift from consultant paediatric urological surgeons coming through adult urological training to more coming via the paediatric surgical training route. Yet, with many of the older generation of practising consultant paediatric urologists entering the later phase of their careers and into their well-earned retirement, the need for both general and specialist paediatric urological services has never been greater. In response, the Joint College of Surgical Training will be introducing paediatric urology as a special interest module for CCT – watch this space!

The Presidential Address that followed covered a wide range of non-urological topics from fashion design to rock & roll! This explained Professor Green’s links with Elvis, the Everly Brothers and Guns and Roses, and the best theoretical way to form a world class rock band alongside U2 and The Cure. Military history was touched upon, from the Russian Revolution to the Cold War, and Bear Grylls was mentioned in passing. However, the overarching theme was the importance of multidisciplinary teams, the value of supporting each other, and the enjoyment to be found in helping trainees develop their careers; encouraging people to aim high, an iterative improvement attitude, and to take chances when they arise, as many long-term regrets in life are due to missed opportunities, over and above any other reason.


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Wilson King Lim To

University College London Hospital, UK.

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