LEARN Overview

LEARN: uroLogical tEAching in bRitish medical schools Nationally
A student and trainee-led multi-centre audit of undergraduate curriculum teaching in urology.

Status update 26-06-2021: LEARN has now been published in BJUI! We are now working on the next steps to updating the BAUS Curriculum. Thank you to all of our survey respondents and collaborators!


Urological conditions account for 25% of acute surgical referrals, 15% of general practice appointments, and over 2% of all accident and emergency department attendances. Furthermore, ward-based urological issues such as urinary retention and the need for catheterisation are common and are encountered by junior doctors across various specialties.

In 2012, the British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS) published a national medical student urology curriculum, with what it considers “key presentations of urological disease” and “requirements of undergraduate training in urology”. Despite the existence of this national curriculum, the extent of its uptake within medical schools across the United Kingdom remains unclear.

Aims and Objectives

Primary outcome measures:

1. The proportion of the BAUS required undergraduate urology topics covered by medical schools, overall and per year, across the UK.

Secondary outcome measures:

1. The number of sessions of theory based teaching delivered as lecture based teaching, small group, problem-based teaching and anatomy teaching.

2. The number of sessions of clinical skills teaching delivered as objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), bedside teaching and tutorial based learning.

3. The number of sessions undertaken during a clinical attachment in urology.

4. The overall proportion of observed and performed procedures as compared to the BAUS undergraduate syllabus for urology.

5. The procedure-specific proportion of observed and performed procedures as compared to the BAUS undergraduate syllabus for urology.

6. The perceived confidence of students in urological examinations and in the management of urological conditions at the competence level expected of a Foundation Year 1 doctor.

7. The perceived confidence of students in performing male and female urethral catheterisation.

8. The number of extra self-selected urology modules undertaken by medical students.

9. The proportion of medical students who would consider doing a urology placement during their foundation training.

10. The proportion of students who have considered urology as a future career option.


During the 20201/21 academic year, medical students in every year at UK medical schools will be invited to complete a REDCap survey. Foundation Year 1 trainees across the UK will also be invited to complete the survey based on their graduating medical school. We will assess the student’s exposure to urological teaching during their time in medical school thus far.

Benefits of getting involved:

To everyone involved

1. Certificate officially accredited by BURST demonstrating individual level of involvement.

2. Evidence of early interest in surgery, as well as audit and research. This is important for further surgical applications such as the Academic Foundation Programme, Core Surgical Training, Improving Surgical Training, and Academic Clinical Fellowship schemes.

3. Understanding of audit and research methodology.

4. The opportunity to contribute to work that aims to improve medical student teaching at individual medical schools.

5. If they choose, all individual respondents to the survey will be mentioned by name in an appendix or acknowledgement section of the paper.

To Foundation Year 1, Medical School and Year Group Leads

1. Demonstration of more significant involvement in the study, notably involving leadership skills, compared to participant level.

2. The opportunity to present findings back to their respective medical school.

3. If available, the opportunity to present findings at local and regional meetings.

4. The opportunity to work together with other medical student leads and the study’s steering group.

5. The opportunity to develop recruitment and data management skills in addition to leadership skills.

To qualify for collaborative authorship

We will recognise Foundation Year 1, Medical School and Year Group Leads that have recruited at least 15 participants, as PubMed-indexed collaborators under ‘British Urology Researchers in Surgical Training (BURST) Collaborative LEARN Study Group’.

Position in the collaborator list will be determined by the number of students recruited to complete the survey. The greater the number of participants recruited, the higher up in the collaborator author list they will appear.

We will invite the top recruiting Medical School and Foundation Year 1 doctor Leads onto the main authorship list.

Key personnel involved in LEARN:

Project Lead – Mr Alexander Ng

Key project group members – Miss Aqua Asif, Miss Nikita Bhatt, Mr William Cambridge, Mr Vinson Chan, Miss Keerthanaa Jayaraajan, Mr Sinan Khadhouri, Dr Chon Meng Lam, Dr Alexander Light, Miss Melissa Matthews

External peer reviewers – Professor Ian Pearce, Mr Toby Page, Professor Chris Harding, Mr Benjamin Ayres, Professor Jane Dacre

Overall supervision – Mr Veeru Kasivisvanathan

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