Urologists Investigate Climate Change, Health Rights and Gender Equity

Free seminar helps providers learn to become advocates for social responsibility, Jan. 14-15

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The January 2023 Urology for Social Responsibility seminar will be offered on the UC San Diego campus. Credit: UC San Diego Publications/ErikJepsen

A urologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the urinary tract and reproductive organs in men, women and nonbinary people. So why are groups of these specialists and their teams gathering in January 2023 to discuss sustainability, gender equity and global volunteerism?

“The new generation of doctors are committed to advocating for change and to help communities that are struggling with challenges such as safe and equitable access to health care,” said Manoj Monga, MD, professor and chair, Department of Urology, University of California San Diego School of Medicine and urologist at UC San Diego Health. “This free seminar is designed to spark ideas and information exchange to help drive positive change for both patients and the providers who care for them.”

Offered January 14 to 15, this free two-day course in La Jolla is open to the broad urology community: physicians and trainees, nurses and medical assistants, students and patients. The interactive experience is geared toward helping all practitioners no matter their level of experience.

Session topics include global responsibility and volunteerism, climate change, sustainability in operating rooms, health rights, access to reproductive care, gender equity, reform of health care and pharmaceutical industries, and wellness and burnout prevention.

“Environmental sustainability is a subject of debate in operating rooms. What is better for the planet: disposable instruments or ones sterilized with chemicals?” asked Monga. “Often, what appears on the surface to be an easy issue to critique ends up being a complex issue that requires the input of many experts. We will investigate this topic and more.”

The seminar includes multiple panel sessions that will draw on subject-matter experts from The Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at UC San Diego, UC San Diego School of Medicine, and Jacobs School of Engineering as well as academic institutions and legal experts from across the U.S. The program offers a “think-tank” format with small group breakouts followed by roundtable report outs to summarize key observations.

Monga has a history of activism most recently seen in the current conflict in the Ukraine, where he supported a humanitarian aid trip to deliver medication and 3D print generated limbs to amputees.

“Some may have thought it odd that a urologic surgeon jumped in to help,” said Monga, who has also travelled to Poland and India to deliver needed medical care in vulnerable regions.

“The reality is that a physician’s core skill — compassion — can be deployed anywhere. During the session on global volunteerism, we will share our experiences on humanitarian aid trips and how building a collaborative team and emphasizing sustainability beyond the mission are key ingredients to meaningful impact.”

The Urology for Social Responsibility seminar will be offered in the T. Denny Sanford Center Medical Education and Telemedicine on the UC San Diego campus. Attendees are invited to bring their children so their voices can be heard, too. You may register for the free event by visiting urology.ucsd.edu/urology-for-social-responsibility .


Urology Gender Affirming Care

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