President’s Message

My first AUA SWIU Breakfast Meeting (circa 2008 as a 3rd year med student) was inspirational. I remember being enamored by the many successful women urologists, watching as the gavel was passed from President to President-Elect, and hoping that one day I, too, would be a woman urologist involved in SWIU. While these goals and aspirations have come to fruition over the past 12 years, I certainly never pictured being passed a virtual gavel as I accepted the position as SWIU President. But….here it is….SWIU presidency in the middle of a global pandemic and a national reckoning of the structural racism that permeates everyday life.

As stay-at-home weeks have transitioned to masked, socially distanced months, I have been working feverishly, as everyone has, to adapt to our new normal. Yes, there was the transition to telemedicine and virtual conferencing. Yes, I started a twitter account to keep up with the ever-changing rules and recommendations surrounding resident education and recruitment during “Stage 2 Pandemic Status.” And, yes, I mastered the online workout class from my bedroom. Yet, these were all things that I thought were transient. And, while these alterations will hopefully prove to be temporary, it certainly feels that the temporary is becoming permanent as headlines continue to boast soaring case numbers.

Nevertheless, I know women in urology are continuing to make a difference. You are leading your families, practices, clinical teams, and patients though dramatic challenges as we manage the pandemic.  You are taking on new roles and responsibilities, mitigating risks and benefits to new models of care, and have good reason to be tired or overwhelmed. We are proud of these efforts, and want to connect you with other amazing women to share your challenges and celebrate your triumphs.  

As an organization SWIU continues to grow. Our 2020 Clinical Mentoring Conference in New Orleans broke record attendance. We reached a milestone 1000 members this year—a testament to the trailblazers that came before us, and the upcoming generation that will further increase female representation in Urology.   

During this uncertain time we must seek hope and find ways to adapt both at work and at home—we need our families, friends, and mentors, now more than ever. As such, the SWIU Board of Directors has elected to hold our 2021 Annual Clinical Mentoring Conference virtually to continue SWIU’s mission to support, promote, and succeed. While we all love meeting in person, connecting virtually gives us a unique opportunity to reach many medical students, residents, fellows and practicing urologists that have previously been unable to attend our Winter Meeting. My hope is to virtually connect a broader and more representative group of  women urologists, and to reunite better and stronger in New Orleans in 2022. 

Looking forward to seeing you virtually in January!

Brook

Elizabeth Timbrook Brown, MD, MPH, FACS
SWIU 2020-2021 President