Urology teaching in UK medical schools: does it prepare doctors adequately?

Exposure to urology is essential for medical undergraduates to prepare them with the competencies required to manage basic urological conditions and to generate interest in the specialty. However, despite the existence of national curricula, the lack of urological exposure and falling competition ratios indicate a need for an evaluation of urological teaching in medical schools.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    Hashim, H. et al. An Undergraduate Syllabus for Urology (The British Association of Urological Surgeons, 2012).

  2. 2.

    General Medical Council. Outcomes for graduates (2018). General Medical Council https://www.gmc-uk.org/education/standards-guidance-and-curricula/standards-and-outcomes/outcomes-for-graduates (2020).

  3. 3.

    Baker, D. et al. Core content of the medical school surgical curriculum: consensus report from the association of surgeons in training (ASIT). Int. J. Surg. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2019.12.036 (2020).

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Shah, J., Billington, R., Manson, J. & Vale, J. Undergraduate urology: a survey of current provisions and guidelines for a core curriculum. BJU Int. 89, 327–330 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Gómez Rivas, J. et al. Undergraduate education for urology in Europe. Where do we stand? Eur. Urol. 78, 381–384 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Derbyshire, L. F. & O’Flynn, K. J. Medical students’ exposure to urology in the undergraduate curriculum, a web based survey. Br. J. Med. Surg. Urol. 5, 4–10 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Conroy, S. Undergraduate urology education: a fundamental pillar in building the next generation of urologists. Eur. Urol. 78, 385–386 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Forsythe, R. O. & Eylert, M. F. Medical students and foundation doctors need more exposure to basic urology. Bull. R. Coll. Surg. Engl. 96, 240–243 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Ng, A. et al. Study launch: urological teaching in British medical schools nationally (LEARN). BJU Int. 126, 311–312 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Kasivisvanathan, V. et al. The British Urology Researchers in Surgical Training (BURST) Research Collaborative: an alternative research model for carrying out large scale multi-centre urological studies. BJU Int. 121, 6–9 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


British Urology Researchers in Surgical Training (BURST) acknowledges financial support from The British Association of Urological Surgeons, the British Journal of Urology International Trustees, the Rosetrees Trust, The Urology Foundation, Action Bladder Cancer UK, Dominvs Group, UKCRC Registered Clinical Trials Units Network, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, The Institute of Cancer Research, the National Institute for Health Research, the North Wales and North West Urological Research Centre, Prostate Cancer UK, the University of Sheffield, University College London and the University of Birmingham. None of these organizations had a role in the decision to carry out this work, content of this work or decision to publish. V.K. is an academic clinical lecturer funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NHS, NIHR or the Department of Health. The authors thank W. Cambridge, K. Jayaraajan, C. Lam, M. Matthews, K. Clement, M. Kulkarni and S. Khadhouri, who are part of the LEARN study team.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Veeru Kasivisvanathan.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Related links

BURST Research Collaborative: https://www.bursturology.com/

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ng, A., Light, A., Chan, V.WS. et al. Urology teaching in UK medical schools: does it prepare doctors adequately?. Nat Rev Urol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41585-020-00393-6

Download citation


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing