Objective: To determine the most pressing issues facing academic urology training centers. The supply of urologists per capita in the United States continues to decrease. Stricter resident requirements, restriction of resident duty hours, and a Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding cap on resident education has led to significant challenges for academic centers.
Methods: A 32-question survey was sent to Society of University Urologists members. Respondents defined themselves as academic faculty tenure track, program director, academic chair, program director and academic chair, clinical faculty nontenure track, and community faculty member.
Results: A total of 143 of 446 members(32%) responded. A lack of funding was indicated as an obstacle to adding new residency positions (65% respondents) and recruiting new faculty (60% respondents). Residency positions not funded by GME (40% respondents) required either clinical or hospital dollars to support these slots. Most respondents (51%) indicated resident research rotations are funded with clinical dollars. Surgical skills laboratories are commonly used (85% respondents) and are supported mostly with hospital or clinical dollars. The majority of respondents (84%) indicated they would expand simulation laboratories if they had better funding. Other than urodynamics and ultrasound, urology residency training programs reported little income from ancillary dollars.
Conclusion: There is a significant workforce shortage within urology training programs. Clinical revenue and hospital funding seem to be the main financial support engines to supplement the GME funding shortage, proficiency training, and faculty salary support for teaching. The current system of GME funding for urology residency programs is not sustainable.
Gonzalez CM, McKenna P Are you the author?
Reference: Urology. 2013 Mar;81(3):475-79