Keep your career flow going

It’s never too early to start thinking about building a resilient career and avoiding burnout.

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Burnout continues to be a major issue within the specialty of urology, so much so that even those just entering the field need to consider how to manage it to maintain career longevity.Jay Simhan, MD, FACSJay Simhan, MD, FACS

Jay Simhan, MD, FACS, vice chair and professor of urology at Temple Health and the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said burnout continues to be a hot topic on social media and among early career urologists. Dr. Simhan currently serves as the chair of the AUA’s Young Urologists (YU) Committee.

“Burnout in urology has become a social media term that has gone viral, and one that has been recently studied and reported on within the specialty,” Dr. Simhan said. “When they’ve looked at various specialties and tried to characterize burnout and challenges with sustaining a career, the rates of burnout in urology over the past several years have been high.”

In fact, the AUA’s 2021 Annual Census found 36% of urologists were experiencing burnout. For those under 45 years of age, that number surged from 38% in 2016 to 45% in 2021. Although there’s no “definitive magic bullet as to why,” Dr. Simhan said the YU Committee is trying to create mechanisms to both understand and mitigate the problem.

Those mechanisms will be the running theme throughout the Young Urologists Forum on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The forum, located in S406A, will feature presentations from urologists from diverse backgrounds at varying stages of their careers discussing financial stability, building resiliency in an academic environment, surgical ergonomics and reflecting on a successful career.

Dr. Simhan said it is never too early—or too late—to consider how addressing these areas can create career satisfaction and perhaps even extend one’s urology career.

“Ultimately, it is on the minds of many people entering the field,” he said. “The great thing about urology is that it has attracted medicine’s brightest. For us to continue to attract the top minds in medicine, we need to try to understand what may be perceived as a specialty dissatisfier. Because it has gained traction on social media and gotten the attention of medical journals, it is on the minds of those joining the field—not just in terms of burnout but also in terms of maintaining a successful career.”

Those attending the forum should walk away with tips, tricks and perspectives on the various aspects of building career satisfaction as well as growing and maintaining a career that is fulfilling.

“If you weren’t thinking about these things before, I think the Young Urologists Forum will give you pause and encourage you to start thinking about them,” he said. “We have a group of speakers who are dynamic and diverse in terms of the subspecialties they represent, in terms of where they hail from and in terms of their stations in their careers. Though it is geared toward early career urologists, we feel a urologist-at-large will also gain wisdom from attending.”

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