In 2021, as a core trainee in urology, I found myself facing challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, which led to limited theatre times for surgical exposure. Trying to grasp the basics of surgery with such restricted operative experience was not easy.
However, I stumbled upon an invaluable resource that transformed my learning experience – YouTube. This platform proved to be an excellent source for basic surgical education. A simple search for terms like ‘surgeon’s knot’ or ‘running subcuticular suturing’ provided me with hundreds of helpful videos from around the world, allowing me to learn and improve my skills.
Nonetheless, I encountered a drawback when it came to endourological procedures. The available videos were often short clips lacking sufficient guidance and sometimes had distracting and often questionable background music choices. It was clear that there was a need for a more comprehensive and focused platform for urology trainees like me to access quality endourological education.
In November 2021, my wish was fulfilled with the launch of the Endourology Academy (https://endourologyacademy.com/), an online platform dedicated to providing free and easily accessible endourological education. The academy has a global vision, with Professor Sarica as its chair, based in Turkey, and contributions from committee members spanning various countries.
Upon signing up, users gain access to a wealth of free educational content. The website’s interface is simple and user-friendly, making navigation a breeze. The courses are well-structured and centred around specific procedures. Leading experts present pre-recorded video series, breaking down each procedure into logical and digestible segments. This has proved to be an incredible asset, especially for a junior trainee like myself. Through the videos, I could understand and visualise the entire surgical process, from the initial setup and required instruments to the procedure itself and postoperative planning. The website has boosted my operative confidence significantly, as I could repeatedly watch the videos before each case and reflect on my technique compared to that shown in the videos and demonstrated by my consultant.
For more experienced trainees and consultants, the Endourology Academy also offers regular masterclass sessions featuring internationally renowned speakers. These sessions are available on‑demand, allowing users to access them whenever it was convenient for them.
I believe that urology trainees in 2023 are blessed to have a readily available digital platform that has excellent breadth of core and advanced endourological procedures. New videos and masterclasses are constantly being uploaded all free of charge. It is a must-use for both trainees and trainers in endourology. Thanks to this innovative platform, the future of endourology looks brighter than ever before.