The West Midlands Urological training programme is one of the most successful in the UK. Although to some extent based in and around Birmingham, trainees have the opportunity to train in units covering a wide geographical area, from Hereford in the south, to Stoke and Shrewsbury in the north. Birmingham itself is a dynamic hub with a huge range of cultural and sporting centres, restaurants and leisure facilities, with excellent communication links to the rest of the UK. The surrounding countryside is some of the most attractive in the UK.
Urology has always been a dynamic and innovative specialty. The development of Urologists as well as Urological Surgeons will appeal to trainees who are attracted by diagnostic and endoscopic Urology as well as those who are intent on becoming operative surgeons. It is anticipated that the specialty will attract a wider spectrum of medical graduates, including female graduates who until 2005 were under represented in Urological training schemes. The pathway for those wishing to become academic Urologists is not fixed but opportunities will be available for the development of research and educational skills.
Urology requires a wide range of personal, diagnostic and surgical skills. Broadly speaking, oncological Urology requires an anatomical and surgical approach, the management of stone disease is dependent on the application of new technology associated with the use of endoscopes, and functional Urology requires accurate urodynamic evaluation together with the necessary diagnostic, operative, interpersonal and teamworking skills. New technology is constantly affecting Urological practice. Recently, Urological Surgery has been transformed by the introduction of laparoscopic procedures, most especially in radical cancer surgery.
There are opportunities to practice across conventional boundaries with collaboration with colleagues in Radiology, Oncology, Neurology, Gynaecology and Colorectal Surgery. In addition, multi-disciplinary working is a feature of Urological practice with nurse specialists and GP specialists having an important role in the delivery of the service. Urology on-call is not arduous.