Acceptance of mixed scientific and clinical activities in a sub-speciality urology meeting
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Basic urolithiasis research into the causes for stone formation has been stagnating for a long time. Emergence of effective stone treatment modalities has shifted the public and clinicians’ focus away from basic research towards symptomatic treatment solutions. This has occurred in spite of urolithiasis being a highly recurrent disease with an enormous socio-economic impact warranting a prophylactic and recurrence-preventing approach. An integrated, multidisciplinary translational platform has been developed in the form of urolithiasis meetings bringing together urologists, radiologists, nephrologists, basic scientists, dieticians and other stake holders interested in stone disease, for an exchange of knowledge, mutual education and understanding, and professional networking. Traditionally, such combined meetings are split into sessions addressing the specific interests of clinicians and scientists. At the recent Experts in Stone Disease Symposium we devised and implemented a program which mixed clinical and basic science activities throughout. We interviewed delegates between sessions regarding their acceptance of this novel concept using a standardized questionnaire. Sessions were well-attended, alleviating our initial anxiety that delegates would not appreciate a “no-choice” program. Of the 74 delegates who were interviewed, 60 (81 %) were urologists, and 14 (19 %) were non-urologists such as nephrologists, dieticians, and students. This is representative of the overall distribution of delegates at the conference. 71 % felt that a closer co-operation and understanding between clinicians and scientists will ultimately benefit both groups, as well as patients; 95 % found the mixed session approach beneficial, with half appreciating it as very good and innovative; 94 % believed that they had derived useful learnings from the “other side”; 94 % found that such mixed sessions are useful for their future work and understanding of the urolithiasis field as a whole; 94 % agreed that mixed meetings of this type are useful in enhancing networking between the different stake holders in urolithiasis treatment and research. Finally, 85 % would like to visit future mixed session meetings, and 89 % would encourage their juniors to attend, too. Not only was a platform created to facilitate multidisciplinary exchange and networking, but delegates from several different backgrounds were encouraged to attend presentations in disciplines other than their own. The results of our survey confirm an overwhelmingly positive acceptance of this integrated multidisciplinary concept for stone meetings. As such, we are encouraged to continue with this concept in future conferences.
KeywordsTranslational medicine Scientist Physician Surgeon Education Urolithiasis
Conflict of interest
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