Urologists Step Up to Help Manage COVID-19 Outbreak

By Reuters Staff

March 27, 2020

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Urologists in Singapore have described what it was like for them to step up and help manage the COVID-19 outbreak there.

The surge of cases at the National Center for Infectious Diseases screening center at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, which was at the forefront of efforts to manage COVID-19 in Singapore, required deployment of hospital staff, including urologists.

Dr. Ming-Chun Chan and colleagues from the hospital's department of urology describe the impact of this deployment on urology practice and residency training and undergraduate education, as well as lessons learned, in letter online in European Urology.

The urology department implemented urgent measures to reschedule nonurgent appointments, outpatient procedures, and elective surgery cases (except for oncology and obstructive uropathy cases).

Ward rounds were reduced to essential personnel only and meetings were held via videoconferencing to minimize contagious spread.

Residency and undergraduate teaching switched to online learning, and undergraduate clinical attachments were canceled.

At the time of year when annual residency examinations are usually scheduled, urology consultants immediately lobbied for postponement of exams to ensure that every effort was devoted to providing support to staff at the screening center.

These efforts enabled the urologists to lead by example in serving at the screening center.

Having senior staff lead by example by serving at the screening center helped to ensure the remaining urology services ran smoothly and served to motivate junior staff at the screening center.

"Although we have dedicated our careers to genitourinary surgery, in times of need, urologists have a role to play in serving society and public health," the authors conclude.

Dr. Chan did not respond to a request for comments.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2xwfru7 European Urology, online March 17, 2020.