This year was my chance to participate at the 15th edition of EUREP. I already knew that this course is a must-attend for urological residents who are in their final year. Previous attendees told me that the programme was going to be challenging – plenty of information to absorb in a relatively short time. Fortunately, the well-organised programme provided an environment conducive to learning.
We all arrived on Thursday, August 31st and it seemed that everybody went to bed quite early to have a fresh start in the morning. The next day, all 360 residents were welcomed by Dr. Joan Palou who gave an overview of previous editions and the objectives of EUREP17. We were also asked to come up with a clever name with an abbreviation for the programme. Although names from previous editions were really funny, we felt like we could come up with a better one.
Each day, we had interesting presentations and discussions with leading experts. In six days, we addressed almost all urological topics such as oncology, Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms/neurogenic bladder, urinary tract infections, paediatric urology, trauma and andrology. It was a lot to process but the discussions were informative and useful.
There were a lot of Hands-on-Training (HOT) facilities which were handled by enthusiastic trainers. The residents were given the opportunity to train their skills in transurethral resection of the prostate/ bladder, cystoscopy/ureteroscopy (URS) and laparoscopy (basic and intermediate). I chose to do the URS and the intermediate laparoscopy training. The trainers gave good advice and helped improve my skills.
The models used were good representations of real patients. Aside from the Basic Laparoscopy Skills (E-BLUS) exam, there was the EST-1 exam (Endoscopic Stone Treatment step 1) as well. In my opinion, these exams are useful in acquiring skills before starting with specific surgical techniques.
On Sunday, the European Society of Residents in Urology (ESRU) held their annual fall meeting which I attended as ESRU Secretary. During this meeting, we had great discussions with the National Communication Officers from most European countries on varying topics such as the Resident Surveys, UROsource for residents, and the Residents Day during EAU 2018. Local issues from each country were addressed and discussed, and new plans have been made to improve the position of urology residents within Europe.
After the meeting, we went to a barbecue and karaoke at Letenský Chateau. This EUREP tradition is an informal and fun way to meet other residents. That evening was a great social activity held mid-week.
EUREP may be intensive and challenging but the programme is an excellent way to update your knowledge and work on your skills, including social skills! I highly recommend residents to apply for next year’s programme. EUREP is definitely a must-attend!
By Dr. Diederick Duijvesz (NL)
Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital Nijmegen