What the Participating Urologists said about UROTOUR
Αvakian Raffi (Athens)
UROTOUR is a unique experience both for young and less young Urologists. Having the opportunity to get acquainted with foreign health systems and colleagues, and generally coming in contact with a different reality is highly beneficial and constitutes a whole new beginning. The program was very well organized and the support of all ISUD people was indeed unique. I must confess that in the beginning I was afraid that -being a Greek abroad in such a tough and negative period for Greece- I would feel awkard and quite uncomfortable. However,it turned out to be exactly the opposite.The UROTOUR Program was so exceptionally organized and Professor Hatzichristos is so much respected and distinguished both in Greece and abroad that the Program was more successful than I could have ever imagined.For sure, one week is not enough to become expert in one domain.Yet, what makes this program an incredibly beneficial experience is the fact that it offers young Urologists the priceless opportunity of experiencing an innovative, evolving and technologically advanced reality -an opportunity that should not be missed by any colleague. I would like to warmly thank the Evaluation Committee, ISUD, the UROTOUR Coordinator Mr. Tsiouprou and, of course, Professor Hatzichristou for offering me this opportunity.
By participating in UROTOUR 2013, I had the opportunity to experience how a Center of Excellence, such as the University Clinic of Hopital de la Conception in Marseille, is organized and operates on a daily basis. Under current conditions in our country, it is highly substantial for young Greek Urologists to have the chance to get acquainted with other health systems and colleagues abroad who have been educated and trained elsewise. I was given the potential to watch my French colleagues in their daily contact with patients in their private offices, clinic and operation theater. There is no doubt that I have gained valuable knowledge. As we stayed for two weeks, my colleague Ioannis Georgopoulos and I were fortunate enough to attend a great number of surgical procedures. We were impressed by the special respect, interest and feeling of responsibility with which French Urologists treated their patients –no matter how mild or severe their medical problem was. All physicians of the Clinic helped us substantially to cope with any sort of problem, and I certainly feel and believe that new communication horizons have opened up for the future. I would like to warmly congratulate and thank Professor Chatzichristou, as well as the Urotour Coordinator from ISUD, Mrs Tsiouprou for the excellent organization of our visit. Our expectations were more than fulfilled! I hope more colleagues will have the opportunity to participate in UROTOUR!
Vegetaki Urania (Iraklio, Crete)
The great benefit I have gained from my visit to the specific Center is that I came to know the proper organization, contemporary equipment, exceptional scientific knowledge and mainly the sincere willingness of all distinguished personalities we have met to convey us their knowledge and experience during our stay there. I think this is exactly the purpose of UROTOUR and, in my case, I can assure you that this purpose has been fully achieved!
Volanis Dimitrios (Athens)
In sight of the coming organization of UROTOUR 2011, I would like to say a few words about my own experience of participating in the Program, so as to help this year's candidates select the Center that would best meet their personal needs. With regard to the educational part, greater emphasis was placed by the German colleagues on presenting Minimally Invasive Techniques (Laser Prostatectomy, URS, PCNL, Laparoscopic Surgery, SITUS etc) that are performed in the specific Center. On the last day of the program, there was a hands-on training course on Laparoscopic Nephrectomy, in which we -as guests- had the privilege of unlimited participation.Through the initiative of UROTOUR, ISUD offers further clinical education/training to young Greek Urologists by bringing them in contact with some of the largest Urological Centers in Europe. In my opinion, the design and implementation of the visit -under the coordination of Mrs Chrysa Pipilaki and the supervision of Professor Dimitris Hatzichristou- was absolutely exceptional from all points of view! For sure, the time period is short, but still the young Urologist has the unique chance to get an overview of the structure and operation of some reference centers, while at the same time creating the conditions for future visits and collaborations.
Georgalis Athanasios (Αthens)
First of all, I would like to warmly and sincerely thank ISUD for offering me the opportunity to participate in the UROTOUR Program. Indeed, I do believe that participating in such remarkable initiatives is a real privilege, particularly for one who has no experience of Large Centers abroad. I consider myself to be really honored and fortunate for participating in this Program. A Program concerning mainly young ambitious colleagues, restless spirits at the beginning of their carreer who seek further ways to move forward as Urologists -both from a scientific and professional point of view.To me, UROTOUR went by far beyond my expectations! Words are really not enough to express how much I have gained from this one week of experience. Dearest Professor, thank you once again! And I do hope this initiative will keep on in coming years, so that other colleagues will come to the pleasant position where I find myself today having participated in UROTOUR.
UROTOUR is an exceptional training program offering young Urologists the opportunity to visit a foreign Center of Excellence and enrich their knowledge and experiences. Together with my colleague and friend Thanos Argyropoulos, we had the potential to stay at the Urology Clinic and Renal Transplantation Unit of A.P-H.M HOPITAL de la CONCEPTION in Marseille for 2 weeks (instead of 1), and therefore we saw and learnt many things, attended numerous surgical operations -which unfortunately in Greece are not easy to attend due to lack of material and technical infrastructure. It was an extraordinary experience and I would like to warmly thank Professor Dimitrios Hatzichristou and his associates at ISUD for this wonderful gift.
Yannopoulos Stavros (Αlexandroupoli)
UROTOUR is a wonderful opportunity for visiting a Urological Centre of Excellence located abroad. The Program covers all expenses and clinical courses are outstanding.The duration of one week is enough for the participant to get acquainted with the structure and operation of the Clinic, some of its activities, the professional standards of the staff and also build up a communicatin channel for future visits or collaborations. In addition, within this one week the young Urologist can gain knowledge related to specific topics, so as to resolve querries, improve techniques and learn new items of interest. There is no doubt that it is a highly constructive week, and one comes back having adopted a different approach to many issues.
Youris Apostolos (Serres)
Thanks to ISUD and UROTOUR 2012, I travelled to Insbruck on 14-21 October 2012, as a visitor of the University Urology Department invited by its Director, Professor Dr Wolfgang Horninger, to attend their daily schedule and activities. The overall organization undertaken by ISUD was perfect from all points of view (transport, accommodation, general informing, coordination, communication). Highly substantial to the success of the trip was the contribution of Mrs Tsiouprou from ISUD, as well as of Mrs Gabriele Schwitzer, Professor Horninger's Secretary, who helped us significantly in getting familiar with the Department conditions. This visit was an unforgettable experience. I had the unique opportunity to get to know the daily operation of the Clinic, its organization which is indeed something impressive and exemplary! At the same time, I had the fortune to watch distinguished Professors operating in their familiar environment with the help of their permanent collaborators. In addition, I had the chance to learn very small 'tricks' that I will try to apply in my daily clinical practice. I was fortunate to discuss with much more experienced surgeons than myself about the effectiveness of techniques that until my visit there I had been only reading about in published articles. Last but not least, UROTOUR 2012 gave me the opportunity to open up a new communication channel with the specific Department aiming at both internet communication and future visits. Finally, I was happy to get acquainted with my colleague Spyros Spanopoulos with whom we travelled together and spent an unforgettable week both from a scientific and gastronomic point of view!
Gritsios Pavlos (Thessaloniki)
From an educational point of view, surely one week is not enough to capture Urology knowledge or skills. Probably, we were among the most fortunate ones, for we had the opportunity to attend the educational/training Masterclass of the Endourology Department on the last day of our stay. However, the greatest benefit we gained was learning the operating and working conditions of these highly distinguished Urologists. Getting to know the way they approach the patient, their behaviour, even the organisational structure of their medical clinics and the overall Department has broadened up my horizons, enriched my professional way of thinking in Urology! Furthermore, a new communication channel has opened up with several of the colleagues working there. It is indeed an excellent experience for every Urologist -particularly if being a private physician- to get to know how top European Urologists work. From an organizational point of view, everything was exceptional! Perhaps, the Program should be a bit more targeted, with the staff of the visiting Center being aware of the special target and objectives beforehand.
Deirmentzoglou Stavros (Κavala)
UROTOUR 2010 has been surely successful both in its conception and implementation. To the greatest part the reasons why I asked to participate in this Program. However, when everything is characterized perfect, there is no room for improvement. Therefore, I would like to make some proposals that might lead to the potential of even further improvement. Due to the limited time (5 working days), there could have been a scheduled and coordinated 'rotation' in all activities of the Department (regular outpatient clinics of General Urology and specialized outpatient clinics, operation rooms, visit to patient wards), so that the best is made out of our whole time there and no valuable time is wasted at all. Finally, the time period of UROTOUR 2010 coincided with St Peter’s course, that is organized by the same Clinic. In this way, the participant had the potential to gain further condensed knowledge -something that could apply in the future, as well. So, I would like to warmly thank and congratulate the organizers for realizing that knowledge is captured and evolved only through continuous training and educational experiences both in our country and abroad.
My participation in the postgraduate program Urotour 2013 at the Urology Clinic of James Hospital in Leeds (UK) has definitely been a landmark in the course of my professional life as a Urologist. My first attempt was to participate in Urotour 2012, but unfortunately I didn’t make it at that time. However, I was not discouraged and applied the following year again. When I heard Professor Hadjichristou announcing (in his worldfamous charismatic way!) that I was selected for the postgraduate fellowship and that Mrs Tsiouprou would arrange all details concerning accommodation, transport and expense coverage, I felt really happy and grateful. The ISUD Institute is making a great effort to provide further clinical training to young Greek Urologists, by sending them to some of the largest and most eminent Urology Centers in Europe –unfortunately for only one week which‘flows like water’! In addition, I am really thankful for I had the opportunity to meet my incredible colleague Michael Christodoulou and make a great new friend. We spent together an unforgettable week -both from a scientific and leisure point of view.
Efstathiou Kostas (Volos)
The program is exceptional and the organizers are to be warmly congratulated for offering the opportunity to young Urologists to get to know integrated Centers abroad. My experience in LEUVEN was a real 'relevation'. It is inconceivable indeed that in such a small provincial town there is such an outstanding dynamic Clinic!
Thank you so much!
Ζahos Ioannis (Larisa)
UROTOUR is an exceptional program giving the opportunity to young Urologists, who had never the chance before, to visit a Reference Center. The organization and specialization of the specific Center provides the young Urologist with the potential for postgraduate education/training in many new domains in the Sector of Urology. I would like to thank ISUD for making me live this experience and sincerely congratulate the inspirators of this idea. I do strongly recommend every young colleague to apply for the next UROTOUR.
Ζougas Konstantinos (Rhodes)
It has been a unique opportunity for us -despite the very short duration- to get to know the structure and operating conditions of a Reference Center within the context of a different health system. The organization of the Program was ideal! It could probably be of some longer duration. We warmly thank ISUD and all contributors for this priceless experience! Comments are particularly positive.Within a short time, we gained new experiences, learned different approaches, viewpoints and techniques of distinguished colleagues with many of whom we have kept contact. All the above are elements which will surely be proven to be highly substantial for our future carreer.
Ioannidis Konstantinos (Κorinthos)
I was fortunate to participate in the UROTOUR Program from 14th to 18th November 2011, as an Observer at the Urology Department of the Antwerp University in Belgium. UROTOUR is an excellent tool for the promotion of the participants' scientific and professional targets, resulting in the general benefit and further upgrading of the Community of Urology and Medicine in our country. During the short stay in a Center of Excellence, the trainee receives knowledge related to the specialization of the specific Department, its ideal organizational structure, its operating conditions, the Urology specialty in general, while at the same time getting acquainted with the social structures, culture and moral of another European country. At the same time, the participant has the potential to spend some time sightseeing, adding some leisure to the overall educational procedure. I have to express my high respect and warm thanks to ISUD for the exceptional organization with regard to issues of transport, accommodation, informing about educational/ training activities, as well as for giving us the potential for leisure during the very few free hours of the day and the free weekend that followed the educational week. So, it is obvious that the experiences a trainee can gain from his/her activation within the environment of a model Urology Department are priceless. Once getting acquainted with the positive scientific, vocational and social models, trainees come back giving a personal bet how to possibly modify, adapt and implement them to the Greek reality.
Κazantzidis Stavros (Thessaloniki)
It is a unique experience for every Urologist. A great opportunity is provided to young Urologists to get to know the working conditions, approach, structure and operation of a worldwide renowned Urology Department. It is an experience that broadens up the way of thinking, approaching and perceiving special conditions, going far beyong the Greek stereotypes provided by our educational system. The whole concept and organization of the Program was excellent. Our hosts also characterized the program remarkable and it was mentioned, among other issues, that it would have been even better if it had been of longer duration and more specifically targeted. Although the duration of the Program was too short to gain sufficient new knowledge or skills,, I had the opportunity within thiw one week to meet distinguished colleagues activated in one of the best-organized Urology Departments in Europe and see with my own eyes how they work, think, behave and procceed in the most professional way. By meeting them in person within this short period of time, I got a better idea of how they manage their work and I also opened up a communication channel with some of them. Highly substantial was attending the educational Masterclass of Endourology organized by the Clinic with the presence of the most highly efficient and distinguished colleagues from all over Europe.
Κalivianakis Dimitrios (Iraklio, Crete)
UROTOUR offers an excellent opportunity to young colleagues, who had never the chance before, to visit some Reference Centers abroad. The optimal organization by ISUD (transport, accommodation, coverage of personal expenses) in combination with the superb selection of the specific Center in Spain, provides a unique educational/training experience to young Urologists. The specific Center covers a wide spectrum of special domains (Laparoscopy, Andrology, Infertility, Endourology, Oncology) represented by distinguished, highly experienced and specialized Urologists. I would like to thank ISUD and the inspirators of this idea for giving me the opportunity to live this experience that is so innovative for the Greek reality. I strongly encourage every young colleague to apply for the next UROTOUR.
Κartsaklis Panayotis (Ζakynthos)
I believe that whoever participates in a program such as UROTOUR is highly privileged. The Program offers young Urologists the opportunity to get to know the structure and operation of foreign European Centers, and also experience how other colleagues work abroad.This highly contributes to the scientific evolution and upgrading of clinical thought, while at the same time refutes stereotype attitudes and considerations. Words are not enough to express how pioneering, innovative and optimally organized the Program actually was. I would like to warmly thank ISUD, the inspirators and organizers of this initiative and wish UROTOUR will be established as an institution so that more and more colleagues will have the potential to participipate in the future. During my visit to the Urology Department of the University in Perugia, I had the chance to follow different techniques, laparoscopic procedures -in which I had not been trained during my residency- and admire the equipment of the specific hospital. I have concluded, though, that the way our foreign colleagues think about and approach cases does not differ much from what I have learnt here. This conclusion helped me realize that I practise my specialty quite successfully, made me feel more self-confident and stimulated my interest in different domains of Urology.
Κoukos Sotiris (Veria)
The UROTOUR Program constitutes a unique experience for young Urologists to visit a Urological Center of Excellence abroad. Although the duration of the Program is very limited, young colleagues are offered the opportunity to get a picture of the structure, operation, daily clinical practice, developments in Urology and at the same time meet in personworldwide distinguished Urologists. They also have the chance to create communication channels with the Centers, which may be found to be useful in the future. Above all, I believe that it helps us, Greek Urologists, 'defabulate' physicians of abroad, appreciate and upgrade our own knowledge, enrich our experiences, stimulate our interest and enhance our urge and love for what we do -despite the problems potentially occurring in our daily routine. I consider myself to be lucky for having participated in this Program. I do hope UROTOUR will continue as an institution and i warmly encourage my young colleagues to participate. It is a pity that such a Program is not offered by the Higher Educational Medical Training of the State University. UROTOUR has been established thanks to the personal vision of Professor D. Hatzichristou, who has managed to implement it this year again, fourth year in a row. So, I would like to warmly congratulate once again the Inspirator of the Program, Professor Hatzichristou, as well as Professors Alevizatos, Apostolidis, Perimenis and Mamoulakis -for their significant contribution, collaboration and selection of Centres of Excellence- Mrs Tsiouprou, who is responsible for the overall trip organization and, of course, Astellas Company for its financial support.
Urotour Program is a unique experience for young Urologists. The University Urology Clinic of the Hacettepe Hospital stands out for its modern facilities, exceptional organization and high scientific training level of Urologists. All Urologists of the Clinic were more than willing to make us feel at home and show us as many things as possible. The week passed by in a pleasant and creative way. All Greek colleagues should aim at participating in Urotour. I would like to congratulate and warmly thank the organizers from ISUD, the Assessment Committee and, of course, Professor Hadzichristou.
Κiratsas Christos (Αthens)
I believe that every Urologist completing his/her residency should aim at participating in this Program. There are numerous young Urologists who think of working abroad after completing their residency - either on a temporary or permanent basis- and the perspective of such a carreer stride surely involves many difficulties and a great deal of uncertainty about what exactly should be done and how. I am not aware whether there are similar programs in other medical specialties but, with regard to young Urologists, there is no doubt that participating in UROTOUR 2011 is a unique opportunity to get an idea of how Medicine is practised abroad and make acquaintances that may open up new future perspectives. Indeed, it seems that only a very small number of colleagues manage finally to participate, compared to the enormous benefit gained. I hope that the participation of Greek Urologists will be even more active in the future, going beyond the limits of simply attending the activities of a clinic. Also, it would be nice if the duration of the Program had been longer, for it turned out that five days were very few to see all the things we wanted to. In overall, it is surely an initiative that many should warmly applaud and imitate -first of all, referring to State agencies and bodies. The visit to the Urology Depatment of Guy's Hospital was my own first contact with the National Health System of UK and I admit that I have been impressed. We met scientists who are totally committed to their domain and -despite their heavy schedule- are willing to teach and convey their knowledge to younger colleagues. We met Professors whose behaviour and attitude reminded us of the simplest people. They made us feel at ease, as if they were our friends from whom we could ask for help, advice and encouragement anytime needed. For sure, one week seems too short for one to evaluate the volume of work taking place on a daily basis in large centers like this one. However, even this short and superficial contact has been priceless to me. It made me feel I was at the epicenter of knowledge, where all pioneering scientific inspirations emerge and evolve, where the Medical science is fully and properly implemented. In my opinion, the experience of attending robotic procedures was the most impressive part of our visit. Professor Dasgupta was extremely friendly and well-disposed, and we were thus proven that selecting him and his Department was an ideal choice. To me, this week has clearly shown that the combination of commitment, hard work and scientific knowledge, can make miracles.
I am really thrilled that I have participated in the Urotour Program. I believe that every young Urologist should seize every potential opportunity to visit a worldwide recognized foreign clinic. This applies even more for Urologists who wish to work and try themselves abroad, like I do. As I myself had no previous experience abroad, Urotour has been a landmark indeed because for the first time I have had the potential to see how Urologists work in a large foreign Center of Excellence. I would like to warmly thank Professor Hadzichristou and Mrs Tsiouprou for their help and support both before and during our stay in the Netherlands. Such initiatives are a real ‘oasis’ in the ‘desert’ we are unfortunately experiencing in our country nowadays, where there is almost total lack of opportunities.
The Program offers a unique opportunity to young Greek Urologists to get acquainted with worldwide distinguished Urology Centers and Urologists. The experience is extraordinary despite the short duration of visit and the participant’s role as an observer. Participating in the Program can become the starting point for self-motivation and seeking further urological education/training, promoting our own personal level as well as the level of Urology in Greece. There is no doubt that UROTOUR is worth for all young Greek Urologists to participate!
For the further improvement of UROTOUR, I would propose ISUD to make it a 10-day program (if possible), so that participants can be more actively involved and not only having the role of the observer or assistant.
Μoshonas Dimitris (Αthens)
After my recent visit to Paris, I evaluate this one-week visit to a Center of Excellence abroad as exceptional. The Urology Division of Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, which I visited, is a Reference Center for Neurourological diseases, also covering the entire spectrum of Oncology and newer technologies related to both the diagnosis and invasive techniques. The high appreciation to Professor Hatzichristou and the personal acquaintance of Professor Apostolidis with Professor Chartier-Kastler, who welcomed us warmly with a fully rich scientific program, contributed significantly to the success of our visit. Through UROTOUR, ISUD substantially promotes the education/training of young Greek Urologists, bringing them in contact with some of the largest Urological Centers of Europe at at time when circumstances are so difficult for their transfer and postgraduate education. The Program was perfectly organized and, among others, I should congratulate Coordinator Mrs Tsiouprou. Although the duration of the stay is undoubtedly very short, still it is enough for one to get an idea of the structure and operation of distinguished Centers abroad, a different health system, a different medical specialization system and the way Urology is practised, while at the same time preparing the ground for future visits and training. To me, the visit to Paris was an incomparable experience. Coming in contact with another health system and colleagues from other countries in an academic center inevitably opens up the horizons of young Fellows. It broadens the way of thinking and perceiving reality, particularly when the Center is continuously willing to have visitors participating in the entire spectrum of activities of a University Department specialized in Neurourology -including the Main Urology Division and Outpatient Clinics, pioneering surgical procedures with the use of the latest technology and meetings of various specialties in Councils and Research Protocols. The Program was very well organized and both the appreciation to Professor Hatzichristou and the personal acquaintance of Professor Apostolidis with Professor Chartier-Kastler, contributed significantly to the success of the visit. For sure, one week is not enough to gain new knowledge or skills. However, the exposure of a young Urologist to the setting of an eminent Center, to modern techniques, to the daily practice of younger and older colleagues, and the communication channel opened up with some of those, will surely turn out to be highly beneficial for anyone participating in the Program.
Bolomitis Stefanos (Αthens)
I would like to thank once again ISUD and particularly my Professor and Academic Teacher Mr Dimitrio Hatzichristou for giving me the opportunity to participate in the UROTOUR Program, which I strongly recommend to all young colleagues.
Medical practice is not only “following Guidelines”. Given that Medicine is generated by humans and addressed to humans, major is the role played by the physicians’ attitude and approach, organization of the center, technological equipment and surgeons’ skills. By participating in Urotour 2013, I had a wonderful opportunity to get to know the organization and functional operation of an internationally recognized Urology Center, the mentality of Spanish people and, importantly enough, to contemplate on the way I myself practice Urology and try to be further improved. I look forward to listening to impressions of other colleagues who participated in Urotour 2013 visiting other Urology Centers in other countries. With regard to the center I myself visited, I reassure you that it is a real Center of Excellence! As for the organizational details of the trip (ticket reservation, accommodation, expense coverage, information), everything had been perfectly arranged. I would like to thank Urotour Coordinator Mrs Marina Tsiouprou, as well as all the people who have dealt with the whole venture. I would strongly recommend my colleagues to participate in UROTOUR, for it is undoubtedly a remarkably constructive experience. Although I believe that one week is very short time for training, Urotour undoubtedly offers young Urologists a unique opportunity to widen their professional horizons and seek further involvement and participation in other training programs. I would like to warmly thank Professor Hadzichristou and ISUD, who have offered me this great opportunity. I strongly encourage ISUD and other bodies and institutes to organize similar initiatives. Lastly, I would like to thank the three-member Assessment Committee who selected me as one of the ten Urologists participating in Urotour 2013.
Dadakas Giorgos (Limassol, Cyprus)
This Program offered me the opportunity to get to know the daily routine of a Urology Department abroad with high experience covering a broad spectrum of Urology. Although the 5-day stay is very short, it is still satisfactory for participants to attend a specific category of surgical procedures in which they are interested and keep some take-home surgical messages to apply on their own daily clinical practice. I regard UROTOUR as a highly remarkable initiative and I strongly recommend to all young colleagues to try participate in it. Above all, the greatest benefit of this Program is probably stimulating the desire for further learning and improvement -something that all physicians have inside us but which most times is unfortunately lost due to our daily routine and problems. I would like to thank Professor Dimitris Hatzhichristou and all those who selected me and offered me the opportunity to participate in this Program.
Xoxakos Yannis (Αthens)
In October 2012, I had the honor to be selected for participating in UROTOUR 2012 and visiting the Urology Department of the University Hospital in Bern, Switzerland. I believe that the UROTOUR Program is a highly significant experience for a young Urologist. The value of the Program becomes even greater for it is addressed to young Urologists who have no previous postgraduation experience abroad. The full coverage of all expenses combined with the excellent organization of the trip and the selection of renowned Urology Excellence Centers, attribute top high quality to the UROTOUR Program. I could not possibly omit mentioning the great service, kindness and interest of all ISUD people -Professor Hatzichristou, already from the very first telephone contact when announding to me that I had been selected and Mrs Tsiouprou for the overall coordination and trip arrangements. In general, I consider UROTOUR to be a remarkable initiative of ISUD and I do hope it will continue in the future and probably even expand further. There is no doubt that UROTOUR offers the young Urologist a unique opportunity, on one hand, to improve his/her education/training and, on the other hand, to build up communication bridges with foreign centers abroad by getting acquainted with distinguished scientists from the Sector of Urology. My visit was an important experience, for it broadened up my knowledge in various domains of Contemporary Urology and introduced to me an exemplary organizational and operating system of a Division which provides high level scientific and research work. I had the opportunity to watch closely and participate in various modern urological surgical procedures, visit departments with high-tech material & technical equipment and get acquainted with important personalities in the field of Urology. Furthermore, my visit to the Urology Department of the University Hospital of Bern may become a starting point for a potential future visit that may contribute even further to my scientific training. As a conclusion, I believe that the educational and consequently vocational benefit offered by UROTOUR is obvious and of high significance -particularly today during the economic crisis we are going through.
Urotour Program is highly constructive and beneficial for Urologists who seek knowledge and aim at widening their horizons. The experience in a technologically developed medical center is priceless. I would like to thank the Assessment Committee, ISUD, Urotour Coordinator Mrs Tsiouprou and, of course, Professor Hadjichristou, for offering me this unique opportunity.
Pantazis Thrasivoulos (Αlexandroupoli)
I believe that the UROTOUR Program should be the aim of all young colleagues for it offers a unique educational/training opportunity without the trainee being economically burdened at all. Within only 5 working days, have I become a better surgeon? Of course, not. But I became much more self-confident in the few things I had already known before, resolved some doubts and querries about surgical procedures that are not often performed at my working place (e.g. Nesbit) and had my interest in Andrology further stimulated. I would like to warmly thank all ISUD people and Professor Hatzichristou for providing me this wonderful opportunity, as well as our colleague Mrs E. Zaharakis for offering me such valuable help and warm hospitality in London.
Porfiris Orestis (Sparti)
I believe that UROTOUR 2011 has succesfully fulfilled its purpose, that is to bring Greek Urologists in contact with some Centers of Excellence abroad. Participant are given the chance to experience how Urology is practised there and attend specialized Urological surgical techniques with which probably s/he has not been familiarized yet.
Spanopoulos Spyros (Αthens)
I consider myself lucky for having participated in the Program UROTOUR 2012. It is indeed an experience I strongly recommend to all young colleagues Urologists. One-week stay in a Center of Excellence gives you the potential to widen up your vocational horizons, discuss with colleagues, get to know how a Clinic operates and how patients are managed and treated, learn about new surgical methods that we do not have the chance to experience within the educational context in Greece. I would like to warmly thank the Professor for giving me this opportunity, ISUD and Mrs Tsiouprou for the excellent organization of this trip. An excellent colleague, Apostolos Youris, was my fellow-traveller in UROTOUR and his company undoubtedly made the trip even more pleasant and relaxing.
Sfiggas Vasilis (Patra)
Τakos Dimitris (Komotini)
UROTOUR provides the opportunity to young Urologists to broaden their scientific horizons. The Centers that have been selected are highly distinguished and specialized in specific domains of Urology. Participating in this Program surely constitutes a unique experience for every young Urologist, since s/he gains specialized knowledge while getting acquainted with a new way of organisation, coordinated group work, collaboration and proper management of patients. Although the time duration of the Program is short (one week), it is sufficient to get an overall personal idea of the latest developments in Urology. The inspirators of the Program and all those contributing substantially to its implementation deserve many congratulations. I do strongly recommend all young colleagues who are interested in continuing education to submit application for participating in the UROTOUR Program.
Τoutziaris Hrisovalantis (Thessaloniki)
As I have only recently come back from my UROTOUR experience, my memories of the Center I visited are still very fresh and vivid in my mind. I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to see, discuss and understand situations -I would not say 'unknown' to the Greek reality, but rather different: different in the approach, attitude, management and operation of a whole system. In the era of globalization, scientific knowledge is widely offered, but what cannot at all be conveyed through an article is the rationale, rules, limitations, data and indications based on which a group has carried out a survey. On the other hand, getting to know different structures and operating conditions helps us receive knowledge so that -when coming back to our country- we canfacilitate the process of patient management by conveying the new knowledge we have received. Good practices should be adapted and followed while bad practices should be avoided. The potential of differentiating between good and bad practices is achieved only through personal attendance and experience. Last but not least, once again I have realized that what we regard as difficult and impossible is what we have not dealt with enough or at all. Everything can be learnt as long as one dedicates time and energy and has the urge to learn. The beginning should always be made next to someone experienced and this is exactly the rationale of UROTOUR. Congratulations to the organizers and I do wish the Program will go on, for it constitutes a golden opportunity for every young Greek Urologist. With UROTOUR, you come back wiser!
Τsiotras Alexios (Αthens)
My recent experience of my one-week visit to a Urology Center abroad was indeed unique. It would be a great omission not thanking the inspirator of the Program, Professor Hatzichristou, as well as the Evaluation Committee for honoring me by selecting me. I would like to congratulate all of them for the UROTOUR inititative.
Fisfis Yannis (Αrgostoli, Kefalonia)
URO-TOUR was exceptional as always. While being on my visit to Leuven, I somehow had the feeling that both Professor Hatzichristou (through his messages, e-mails and regular communication with us) and all ISUD people (helping us and solving any occuring problem) were there with us. My stay in Leuven was highly interesting offering me only positive experiences. In addition, the company of my colleague Mrs Efstathiou made this experience even more pleasant and enjoyable.
In November 2013, I was fortunate enough to be selected to participate in Urotour 2013 and visit the Urology Clinic of St James Hospital in Leeds. From the wonderful way Professor Chatzichristou communicated personally with me to announce that I was granted the fellowship- up to the slightest detail, everything was perfectly organized. Mrs Tsiouprou made all necessary arrangements regarding our accommodation, transport, expense coverage and training at the Hospital. At the Urology Clinic of St James Hospital we had the unique opportunity to get to know how a real Center of Excellence operates on a daily basis and get acquainted with some of the most highly distinguished Urologists. At the same time, I was lucky enough to get to acquainted with a great colleague and person, Mr Charalambos Dimitriadis, with whom we spent a full and fruitful scientific week. I would like to warmly thank the ISUD Assessment Committee, Mrs Tsiouprou and Professor Chatzichristou. Lastly. I strongly recommend every young Urologist to submit their candidacy for the coming Urotours.
Hrisafis Manolis (Αthens)
Everything went on smoothly without any problem occurring. There was timely informing and excellent service (hotel, airfare tickets). The person in charge was always available and easily accessible for any occurring issue. Although one week seems to be very short time, still it is enough for a young Urologist to get an idea about the structure and operation of a modern European Center, receive stimuli related to urological matters that probably had never concerned him/her before in the past and get acquainted with some of the most highly distinguished European Urologists. As a conclusion, UROTOUR is an extremely beneficial program, particularly for colleagues who have no previous experience from a European Urology Center. I was given the unique opportunity to get a picture of the structure and daily operation of the specific Department, and also meet in person some distinguished European Urologists. I would like to warmly thank ISUD and Professor Dimitris Hatzichristou for offering this chance to young colleagues and underline that particularly in our days such programs gain more and more value.
The experience I have gained from my visit to the Urology Clinic or the Maastricht University Medical Center has been unique. I strongly recommend all young colleagues to participate in the Urotour Program, which offers Urologists the great opportunity -even for a short 1week period- to come in contact with a modern and well organized European hospital, get acquainted with foreign colleagues and share viewpoints, experiences and concerns with them.