Education is the foundation upon which we build our future.
From its inception, the Council for Urological Interests has invested in creating a Certification Program for the technologists and nurses that daily provide care for kidney stone patients in need of shock wave lithotripsy. The Certification Committee’s CUI Training Manual is a valuable resource for applicants as they prepare for their certification exam.
More recently, CUI has recognized a need to also provide educational resources to urology residents in training and young urologists recently entering practice. That need is fueled by the recognition that urologists-in-training often get little to no exposure to SWL during their residency. Recent statistics show that of stone patients needing surgical intervention, sixty percent (60%) receive ureteroscopy (URS), thirty percent (30%) get SWL, and ten percent (10%) undergo percutaneous nephrolithotomy. Given their lack of training in SWL, it is no surprise that the younger cohort prefers ureteroscopy. Yet that is not the whole story...
Surveys of stone patients reveal that they prefer SWL, if given a choice. In addition, several recent studies have demonstrated that URS is not as successful as commonly believed and, in fact, achieve about the same results as SWL. Adding fuel to the fire, cost studies show that URS costs more, has a higher unplanned admission rate post treatment, and a higher complication rate.
Many urology resident training programs recognize this gap in SWL education.
Alarmed by the ACGME’s recent removal of SWL from being a required “index case” for board certification, program directors are looking for an education vehicle to prepare residents for a therapeutic environment that offers stone patients an unbiased choice of procedures. CUI hopes that it can offer that vehicle.
As a start, CUI plans to begin presenting a SWL Skills Workshop at the 2019 Annual AUA meeting in Chicago on Saturday, May 4th. If successful, the Workshop platform will create a venue for multiple such meetings during the years to come.
With direction from CUI’s Medical Advisory Board, CUI plans to explore other possible mechanisms of educating those in need about how to achieve the best patient outcomes using SWL.