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Training & Academic Urology

An issue since 1946

From the outset, the Royal College of Surgeons sought the views of the new Association on the training of Consultants in Urology. A second sub-committee was set up in March 1946 which recommended that special training in urology would be needed in addition to training in General Surgery at Registrar status.

Both these documents were discussed and ratified at the Annual Meeting of BAUS in June 1946.

At the end of the 2nd World War, the British Postgraduate Medical Federation, under its Director Sir Francis Fraser, was given the task of co-ordinating postgraduate work and training. There was obviously a need for Urology to have a voice in the Universities as well as in the coming NHS.

It was another stroke of imagination, again owing much to Ogier Ward, which brought St Peter's and St Paul's together. Thanks to Ogier Ward, John Sandrey and Alec Badenoch at St Peter's, and Horace Winsbury White and Howard Hanley at St Paul's, the resources of St Peter's and St Paul's were combined as the Institute of Urology, first housed at 10 Henrietta Street, opposite St Peter's Hospital.

The far-sighted idea of setting up University Professorial units was less successful. Personal chairs were awarded from time to time: to Leslie Pyrah in Leeds (1956), Ralph Shackman at The Hammersmith (1961), John Blandy at The London Hospital (1968), John Swinney in Newcastle (1969), John Mitchell in Bristol (1970), Norman Blacklock in Manchester (1985), Brian Peeling in Newport (1990), Tony Mundy at the Institute of Urology (1992) and David Kirk in Glasgow (1995). But none of them were established and, so far, none of these chairs has survived the retirement of the nominee.

Two established chairs have been held by urologists, but these were both Chairs in Surgery: Geoffrey Chisholm in Edinburgh (1977) and David Neal in Newcastle (1992). BAUS repeatedly wrote to the University Grants Committee, urging the establishment of Chairs in Urology, but the University Grants Committee perversely took the line that Urology was a post-graduate subject and that everything an undergraduate needed to know about surgery could be taught by general surgeons.

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