Dear Colleagues, Friends and Sponsors of Urology,
It is a great pleasure for me to invite you to the 67th German Congress of Urology, which will take place from September the 23rd to 26th, 2015, in Hamburg.
The motto "Urology covers more" stands for the extension of our field beyond age- and gender-specific limits: because the Urologist is more than a doctor for men with prostatic disease! More than 10 years ago, the establishment of Urologists as "the Doctors for men" was a necessary step, because non-specialist disciplines had began to practice preventive urological medical checkups on men: an effective strategy has since been developed which defines the competence of Urologists. Furthermore, with the term "Doctor for men", we have succeeded in anchoring in Urology, many andrologically-complex themes. Moreover, it has been noted, particularly in the case of Andrology, how important consistent scientific activity is, not only to stake our claim to our field but also to present it, explained and justified, and to display it both in initial and further training and health care.
The emphasis on Andrological focus had led almost unnoticed to the fact that the intrinsic urological therapies regarding the treatment of kidney, bladder and genital diseases of both sexes could not keep pace with reports of them, and their perception by the public. Of course, a man with a urological disease has to be treated by an Urologist – but also the woman and the child with a urological disease. In public, we have to pursue strategically and with more intensity our competence in organ-based diagnosis and therapy, as well as to advertise, in an individual and targeted manner, that not only men but also women and children with urological diseases may consider consulting the Urologist as a primary contact. At the same time, we have to strengthen our competence in Urology for women, Pediatric Urology and Urological Oncology.
As President of our Society I am responsible for the organization of the scientific annual congress and therefore also for the setting of priorities in preparation and alignment of the congress. Together with the board of our society it is, moreover, my goal to initiate strategies that emphasize the competence of Urologists to the public in regard to organic diseases independent of gender and age.
This concerns both outpatients and patients in hospital. Professional competence is not the result of age or gender limits but of methodical competence. Only the perfect endoscopy, learned on adults, endoscopic-percutaneous stone surgery or complex urine diversion, enable the qualified therapy of a child. The requirements for this are qualified outpatient and inpatient treatments. To accept implicitly that Pediatric Urological Surgery, such as orchidopexy and circumcision, are done by non-specialists? is comparable to voluntary amputation of our field. Existing Pediatric Surgery Departments are currently being equipped with a urological spectrum of care, because otherwise they would not be able to exist. It must be our goal to establish hospitals with a Pediatric Urological focus, which offer the whole spectrum of care ,and which are therefore able to develop and anchor this branch of Urology both in initial and further training, as well as in scientific expertise. The German Society of Urology has crucially strengthened the Pediatric Urological presence by co-financing a professorship. This path of strengthening Pediatric Urology will be recognizable at the annual congress.
With flanking measures we will especially inform young parents with a high affinity to the internet by activities within social networks on frequent Pediatric Urological diseases and Urologists as contact persons.
For the benign functional urological diseases of women, the competence of the Urologist has also to be clearly recognizable. A voluntary waiver of the therapeutic claim regarding urogynaecological diseases here means abandoning existing expertise to the disadvantage of the patients concerned. The treatment of stress urinary incontinence of women, as the most common bladder dysfunction, is a fundamental urological therapeutic principle which requires a close interlinking between out-patient and hospital in-patient counseling.
To raise the awareness to Urological competence for the treatment of incontinence among the wide population – including the enuretic child, the stress urinary incontinent woman, the patients plagued by nocturia, and geriatric patients –, the board of our Society has developed a curriculum for the qualification of "Urological Assistance Urinary Incontinence" and submitted it to the German Medical Council. This relates to the curricular qualification of the subordinate staff in ambulatory care and Hospitals, who will be able to provide time-consuming consultations and defined diagnostic and therapeutic methods as performances that can be delegated. Only in this way are we able to preserve and improve qualified Urological care among the wide population, which is demographically changing.
In Urology, we treat nearly 25% of all malignancies, an interesting fact to other professional groups. The benefit of new, highly effective but also very expensive therapeutics will have to be evaluated. Without study centers in the field of ambulatory care this is barely conceivable. At the same time, over the last decades, we have made revolutionary progress in the field of Operative Urological Tumour Surgery: both technical developments such as laparoscopic and robotic assisted surgery, as well as innovative operative concepts for the construction of orthotopic and heterotopic bladder substitutes. It is our responsibility to discuss with competence and the necessary seriousness this range of complex, but for the patient´s quality of life highly significant, operative tumour therapies, by also considering the temporal load and ecological impact, the discussion about morbidity and mortality statistics, also taking in consideration demographic changes. To represent the training of oncologically-responsible Urologists and to ensure Urological Oncology as a significant component of Urology, we will have to act together inter-sectorally.
In this context, the cross-sectoral cooperation will be of crucial importance in future. Without strong outpatient urological care, in-patient urology is not possible, and vice versa. To secure the future of our junior staff we have also to use this Congress as a result of current developments, and as a Think-tank in order to speak about models for real cooperation of out- and in-patient Urology. In addition to the primary goal of presentation and discussion of new scientific knowledge, the before-mentioned emphasis should be recognizable. Furthermore we will organize a varied care Congress to show the essential cooperation with urological nursing staff but also with medical assistants from the surgeries. And within the scope of the patient forum, as well as for the pupil´s day, we will show that Urology is more than purely men´s medical care – as is often assumed.
We will continue with the introduced strategy of sustainability. The German Congress of Urology is the third-largest Urological Congress in the world. I am glad to invite you to this event to Hamburg and hope that we will spend together exciting but also relaxing days approaching our goal to strengthen Urology and at the same time to develop it.
In the name of the board of the German Society of Urology, the Program Commission, and the DGU-team I cordially invite you all with our industrial partners to the Annual Congress 2015 to Hamburg.
Prof. Dr. Stephan Roth
President of the German Society of Urology