The current landscape of urological undergraduate education in Canada
Introduction: Urological presentations are commonly seen in primary care and urologists are concerned that educational gaps exist in undergraduate curricula in Canadian medical schools. A pan-Canadian survey of undergraduate urology education directors (UUEDs) was used to determine the current status of undergraduate urology education in Canada.
Methods: In the fall of 2018, a survey was administered to all 17 UUEDs representing every Canadian medical school. The survey assessed multiple factors, including the timing and duration of urologist- led instruction, the perceived adequacy of urological content in the curriculum, and the level of preparedness of graduating students.
Results: The response rate was 100%. Variation in the duration (mean total instructional hours: 22.5±17.2 [5–75] hours) and timing of formal urological instruction was seen. The majority of schools covered core content areas, however, erectile dysfunction, urotrauma, and pediatric urology topics were under-represented. One school had a mandatory urology clerkship rotation (one week), while the other 16 schools offered a selective, with 24.3% of students completing this experience. The majority of UUEDs (64.7%) believed the curricular time devoted to urology was inadequate, 29.4% felt that their graduates were unprepared to diagnose and treat common urological problems, and 76.5% strongly agreed or agreed that a national urology curriculum would be useful.
Conclusions: There was significant variability in the duration of instruction and delivery of urological topics in Canadian medical schools. There was a perceived need for more urological instruction by most UUEDs, who welcomed a more standardized national curriculum as a strategy to address this need.
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