I will tell you a story about luck and about how you can get lucky.
Almost 5 years ago I have started my Residency training in Urology without having access to robotic surgery. Da Vinci was available only during congresses with live surgery sessions and short console trainings. Even more interesting, my training was mainly laparoscopic surgery from day 1 as a novice, with a small percentage of open surgery cases. Although I was trained in minimal invasive surgery, robotics seemed far away and somehow unreachable. Little did I know that opportunities arise and even EAU scholarships can be reached to gain a solid training in the robotic surgical field by any resident and young urologist really interested in it and not afraid to put in the hard work. Having the 2nd robotic international course and workshop organized by our team in the city we live in and being part of it is an amazing gift. This is an opportunity both for our patients, making high quality medical services available in Cluj, but also for us, as urologists and especially as residents, putting our formation centre on the map of European standards.
This course was a success for opening the gates towards education, through the local experienced professionals – Associate Professor Bogdan Petrut, Professor Ioan Coman, Professor Nicolae Crisan and distinguished experienced international guests- Professor Giacomo Novara, Professor Fabrizio Dal Moro, Professor Prasana Sooriakumaran, Professor Thomas Bschleipfer. There were extremely valuable lessons in robotic Uro-Oncologic pathologies and not only, the live surgery sessions including partial nephrectomy, Retzius sparing radical prostatectomy, pyelolithotomy with pyeloplasty performed with the Da Vinci XI robot. The robotic approach for these cases benefited on point dissection and reconstruction techniques within oncologic safety, optimizing functional outcomes.
The truth is there is no such thing as pure luck and getting lucky is about persistently investing in your surgical education and searching for opportunities to grow. Beyond the robotic approach, this course was about valuable tips and tricks in minimal invasive surgery shared by urologists with hundreds and thousands of cases behind them. This shared knowledge can be applied in any approach and is highly applicable in minimal invasive surgery. Being in the same room where these aspects are discussed by experts makes us lucky, because even though it is said that practice makes perfect, practicing with mentoring/ proctorship is the true key to improvement and high-quality medical services.
The proximity to expertise and moderated live surgery sessions are a professional catalyst that should be targeted by all of us surgeons, independently on our day to day working profile- niche. I am really optimist and happy to have met colleagues that shared a common passion for growth and for being part of the pulse of European Urology as it is right now, maximizing technology to best help our patients offering more than cancer control- functional and aesthetic outcomes. Even more encouraging some of our participants were students and I hope more Urology residents will join next time.
I hope all of our guests and participants felt lucky when returning back home for the surgical education we all benefited during the course, and that they will search further opportunities to high quality surgical education to get even luckier. We also invite you to join us in our future events that target laparoscopic and robotic Urology in the beautiful city of Cluj – the heart of Transilvania- and actively invest in your training.
Our surgical education is the most valuable asset in becoming the best professionals we can be and in fighting disease. The more you make it a priority, the luckier you will get. There are so many ways to learn! Meeting passionate surgeons that coloured their learning and teaching experience with their personality/ their own hobbies, inspires and enables each of us to transfer our unique personal gifts in the journey of becoming a surgeon- DRAW – Learning – Sharing – Teaching (urodraw.com).
Search for congresses, console training- dry/ wet Lab sessions, EAU training/ internship opportunities… select the professional gatherings where surgeons strive for excellence, and each taken step will add-up to happier and healthier patients and to becoming a surgeon that delivers excellence and sleeps well at night.
No matter the level you are at, join us – we need both the student and the expert for the learning experience! CLERU – Clubul de Laparoscopie, Endoscopie și Robotică Urologică (cleruro.com)