For UK urologists, getting involved with Urolink is easy. You can browse this site to determine where indivduals have visited, as well as what they have done, by reading the visit reports.
You can e-mail colleagues who already have an association with either the Urolink committee or the faculty directly from this site and you can contact us directly by telephone, fax or e-mail. The Urolink committee aims to be receptive to your needs and will do everything it reasonably can to help with any trip to the developing world.
Urolink is also happy to hear from individuals or centres abroad who have a desire to link to British urology and want further information about the opportunities that exist to achieve this objective.
Finally, Urolink welcomes contact from individuals, companies or organisations that have an interest in urology in the developing world and wish to donate money and equipment or sponsor particular projects.
Please contact us by phone, fax or e-mail.
Advice for trainees wanting to work abroad
There is no doubt that any trainee wishing to work abroad needs a basic skill set to capitalise on the experience available. This is especially so if your intention is to train in the developing world. You need to have the resilience to make work worthwhile in very different conditions to those seen in the UK . Trainees are best advised to make such a trip towards the end of their training when it least conflicts with the pressures of accreditation exams and hunting for Consultant posts. It often takes a surprisingly long time to arrange an extensive trip - so adequate planning early in your career is essential.
Within reason, you can go anywhere in the world. Whether your visit will be counted as part of your accredited training will depend upon the accreditation status of the centre being visited, the length of time being spent abroad and the benefits expected from the trip. The time you spend away will be determined by how much you experience you expect to get and you need to minimise the impact on your training . A directory of centres visited by previous trainees, and the experience they had whilst there, is appended in the trainees section of working abroad.
Time abroad might be taken as part of your postgraduate training or as ‘private’ travel outwith your training programme.
The first issue for any surgical trainee to resolve is how you can get time away from your UK training programme without detracting from your accreditation date and compromising your future career.
Section 18 of the Joint Committee on Higher Surgical Training (JCHST) “Pink Book” gives clear guidance about what time may be counted as accredited training if approved prospectively. Support needs to be obtained from the following groups:
- your trainers in the proposed time of absence
- your programme director
- the Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) in Urology.
The SAC will demand to have knowledge of:
- a nominated trainer in the centre you are visiting (Form A)
- the length of time you intend to be abroad (Form A)
- a timetable including any on-call commitment (Form A)
- the aims and objectives of your visit (Form A)
If the centre you choose has not been visited before, the SAC will require demographic information about the institution, its facilities, the number of trainees and the training facilities on-site (Form B). This information may also need to be completed for a centre which has previously been visited but not witihin the last 3 years, and for all centres previously having unsatisfactory training assessments.
Trainees may spend up to one year in an overseas centre as long as it fulfils the SAC criteria.
Advice for overseas urologists seeking to work with Urolink
Urolink is happy to hear from any urologist working in the developing world who wants assistance. Urolink can help by publicising the centre's requirements on the home page, providing financial assistance or personnel to help develop a link and by providing specific items of equipment. Urolink's policy, however, is only to help re-provide equipment to centres with which it already has an established link and where it is clear how any equipment is going to be used. Periodically, Urolink will request bids for developmental monies that have been freed up from its financial resources; available funds will be advertised on this website.
Surplus urological equipment is in short supply in the UK at present, due to changes in the NHS funding, but it may be worthwhile contacting Nick Watkin to see if he has any of your requirements available.
Urologists wanting access to websites which may be able to help with their equipment needs can try UK auction houses such as Hilditch Auctioneers, or organisations such as DreamWeaver Medical, accessible though Globus Relief.