LINTHICUM, MD, August 11, 2009--As part of its ongoing effort to increase international information sharing, the American Urological Association (AUA) welcomed a medical delegation from China at AUA headquarters in Linthicum, Maryland, August 4-9, 2009, to learn more about the U.S. healthcare system and the AUA’s structure and educational processes. Members of the delegation represented the AUA’s counterpart in China, the Chinese Urological Association (CUA), as well as representatives from the Chinese School of Urology (CSU) and the Chinese Medical Association (CMA). Recognizing that the interchange of medical skills, expertise and knowledge is critical to the continued success of medicine and urology in the world community, the AUA has taken a leading role in international healthcare information exchange.
The Chinese delegation visited the local nonprofit for five days to learn more about the U.S. medical system, including the process of becoming a medical specialist (specifically, the selection procedures, board examinations, residency match process and educational curriculums). To learn more about the U.S. medical system first-hand, the delegation met with AUA President, Dr. Anton Bueschen and AUA Secretary, Dr. Robert Flanigan and also visited urologists at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Brady Urological Institute in Baltimore, MD. In addition, the delegation also met with leaders from the Chinese American Doctors Association located in Howard County, Maryland.
The delegation also sought to learn more about the AUA’s role in education and outreach for urologists. The AUA is the premier professional organization providing continuing medical education (CME) to urologists and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide CME credits through educational opportunities for urologists, family physicians and allied health professionals. The AUA is committed to educating members through research, including articles published in The Journal of Urology®, the official Journal of the AUA. Therefore, the Chinese delegation also learned about the abstract selection process and how the AUA uses the Journal as an educational tool.
Because of this interest, the Chinese delegation shadowed the AUA Office of Education department to learn more about national educational efforts. The delegation also met with other departments, including the AUA Guidelines Department. The AUA produces evidence-based guidelines on urologic topics, including the most recent titled, “Prostate-Specific Antigen Best Practice Statement.” The guidelines not only teach best practices to urologists, but are also helpful to lawmakers searching for evidence-based clinical guidelines on which to develop policy and payment recommendations.
According to Dr. Yanqun Na, President of the Chinese Urological Association, “All CUA delegates were deeply impressed by the glorious history and the smooth operation of AUA, and enlightened by the urology training system in the U.S. The CUA visit to the AUA headquarters was a memorable occasion for all the delegates as well as a great event in the history of our collaboration.”
As part of its International Education Plan, the AUA has established a variety of exchange programs to provide outstanding and promising junior faculty with an opportunity to interact with and learn from colleagues abroad. These programs include academic exchanges and resident programs. The AUA is working with China, Japan, India, Brazil and other South American countries, as well as Europe to develop the type of programs that encourage knowledge sharing across boundaries. The AUA recently partnered with the Urologic Society of India (USI) on “The Educational Bridge Initiative,” which is designed to encourage knowledge sharing through a number of collaborative activities that will assist the USI in standardizing urologic education throughout India.
“The AUA is expanding its international outreach initiatives in order to broaden the exchange of knowledge, education and networking opportunities among urologists from around the world,” said AUA Secretary Robert C. Flanigan, MD. “The more we can learn from each other, the more we can improve patient care.” “This week’s visit by the China delegation will only continue to strengthen our collaborative relationship and friendship.”
The Chinese delegation also took a tour of the William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History during their visit to the AUA because there is no better place to learn about the monumental advances in urology over time. The current museum exhibit, “Remedies and Recipes: The History of Pharmacy,” gave the delegation an interesting perspective on international contributions to another medical field—pharmacy. While in the United States, the delegation also toured the National Aquarium in Baltimore, as well as important monuments in Washington, DC.
For more information on the AUA’s international efforts, please contact Lacey Dean at 410-689-4054 to schedule an interview with Dr. Flannigan.
Members of the Chinese delegation included:
Kexin Xu, MD, Secretary of the CUA President; Ms. Junyu Liu, Vice Director of Dept. of Chinese Medical Education of the Chinese Medical Association; Ms. Ping Hu, Director of the Office of Administration, CUA; and Ms. Yang Ren, Executive Manager, CSU.
About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is the pre-eminent professional organization for urologists, with more than 16,000 members throughout the world. An educational nonprofit organization, the AUA pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care by carrying out a wide variety of programs for members and their patients.
Lacey Dean, AUA