Medicine in Wales has a long tradition of first-class urological training which is reflected in the current training opportunities available and excellent pass rates in the FRCS (Urol) examination.
The Wales Deanery administers training in South Wales through centres located along the M4 corridor.
Please note that training in North Wales is NOT administered by the Wales Deanery, but is incorporated into the Mersey Deanery (the West Sector of the North West School of Surgery).
If you require further information, email Alice Thompson (BSoT rep for this region)
All the training units provide core urology training with subspecialty training in selective centres. The region has a strong portfolio in oncology, laparoscopic surgery, endourology, female/reconstructive urology and paediatric urology. There are good multidisciplinary team meetings for cancer patients and joint oncology clinics.
The training units are:
||No of trainees
| Glan Gwilli Hospital, Carmarthen
Morriston Hospital, Swansea
Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport
Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant
University Hospital Wales, Cardiff
The Training Programme Director for Wales is Mr Tim Appanna, based in the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant. If you wish to contact the TPD, please click here to send an email
There are five health boards extending across South Wales which, between them, offer all the major subspecialties, including two paediatric centres, three major oncology units, and two specialist andrology centres (one being the super-specialised penile cancer centre). There is a Da Vinci robot in Cardiff where visiting surgeons & trainees from Swansea and Newport can also use its facilities; there is a teaching console with access for registrars interested to train in robotic surgery.
There are currently 14 trainees and one post-CT fellow.
All training posts are for one year. Your ST3 year is usually spent in a larger centre, followed by ST4 or 5 spent as sole registrar in a district general hospital, expanding your core competencies. You'll normally spend ST6 & 7 in larger centres, acquiring expertise in your chosen sub-specialities. There is no formal paediatric urology rotation, but you'll find core experience in two hospitals, with the aim of obtaining a total of 80 sessions during training.
The region provides laparoscopic dry lab training on an annual basis, through one of the dry lab courses accredited by the BAUS Section of Endourology; the courses take place at the Welsh Institute for Minimal Access Therapy (WIMAT) in Cardiff.
There is one day per month of compulsory, protected, urology teaching, which takes place on the second Friday of each month.
The sessions follow a rolling timetable, with topics chosen to reflect the new urology curriculum and to prepare trainees for the FRCS (Urol) examination. A fixed venue (The Copthorne Hotel, Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff CF5 6DH), close to the M4, allows trainees from all units to attend without difficulty. Each session is organised by two local Consultants and incorporates guest lectures, journal reviews, debates, vivas and MCQs.
To help trainees prepare for and, achieve high pass rates in, the FRCS (Urol) examination, the region provides a structured programme to assist with exam preparation. Each year all SpRs undertake:
- the EBU in-service assessment annually for MCQ practice marked individually per topic on the syllabus;
- an annual viva day in May where trainees undertake a formal mock FRCS (Urol) viva day, with stations covering the exam topics manned by Consultant colleagues in the region, and marked in line with the exam scheme; and
- individual and group viva sessions (usually 10 - 20 hours with TPD / Consultant colleagues in the region), prior to the exam, focusing on viva technique.
Trainees are expected to attend the Welsh Urological Society meetings (see below), the BAUS Section of Oncology Annual Meeting and the BAUS Annual Scientific Meeting, to complement local teaching. Trainees are also encouraged to attend BAUS-organised educational courses and revision sessions throughout their rotation.
Trainee satisfaction is excellent and there has been little difficulty obtaining indicative numbers and levels of competency ready for CCT. The most recent trainees have successfully, and seamlessly, taken up Consultant posts in the region without the need for fellowships, highlighting the level of training received, aided by the high quality of mentoring provided when in post as a junior Consultant.
Research and Audit
Cardiff and Swansea have well-developed clinical and academic research programmes with two current clinical academics. Research posts are available in both units allowing trainees to undertake a period of formal research leading to a higher degree. You will, therefore, find opportunities to take time out-of-programme to complete an MD in clinical or laboratory-based research, if you wish.
The region also has strong links with overseas units, in Belgium, Australia and America, and senior trainees are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.
The Welsh Urological Society
The Welsh Urological Society holds two meetings each year at rotating venues throughout Wales. The Society includes Consultants, trainees of all grades and Urology Specialist Nurses working in Wales.
Meetings usually involve a half-day of professional development and/or Registrar teaching: recent teaching sessions have included laparoscopic dry labs, training-the-trainer courses & structured debates.
The other half-day is devoted to research topics, with a prize being awarded for the best presentation.
The Bottom Line
Geographically, the Wales deanery is an great location to settle down, have a family, buy a house etc, as well as an excellent environment for training.
It is approximately 1¼ hours drive between the two most distant hospitals, so living in between these sites offers an easily manageable commute.
Wales has so much to offer, from culture in Cardiff with events at its Millennium stadium, to lovely beaches on the Gower peninsula, great walks in the Black Mountains or Brecon Beacons, and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
The compact nature of the region means that you can stand on top of a mountain in the morning, explore a historic garden or castle in the afternoon, and stand on a sandy beach to watch a stunning coastal sunset in the evening. As a result, many of our trainees take up Consultant posts and spend the rest of their lives in Wales.
Click here to see contacts, hospitals and administrative information for this region
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