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ASM Convenor Update - 16 February 2024

Hi everyone

Just one more week until USANZ 2024! The chairs are being set up and the final numbers are being tallied for catering but we are good to go!

While early bird registration closed in early February, you are still very welcome to come if you make a late decision. Onsite registration will also be available for the latecomers who get a last-minute clearance to party in Adelaide for a few days.

I want to publicly congratulate our Scientific Committee Chair, Dixon Woon, for assembling an outstanding panel of international speakers combined with local expertise. I am certain that delegates will enjoy the diverse content which has something for everybody who has an interest in Urology. Congratulations Dixon!

I would also like to acknowledge how collaborating with our nursing colleagues enriches the meeting. Kerry Santoro and Natalie Parker, our ANZUNS Meeting Convenor and Scientific Program Chair also deserve thanks for delivering an outstanding nursing program. We look forward to the nurses participating in the combined plenary sessions and social events.

I have some final tips for a great stay in Adelaide. To start your day, of course, we would prefer you all to attend our breakfast meetings. Lenore Ackerman will be speaking on Sunday morning about robotic female pelvic surgery. On Monday, Chris Sweeney will chair a panel on metastatic prostate cancer. Concurrently Darren Katz will discuss “Lifestyle optimisation and male fertility”. Finally, on Tuesday, Matthew Hong and Paul Anderson will be discussing a “Practical approach to urethral stricture management”

For those who need a bit more “up and go” in the mornings, Adelaide has a vibrant coffee scene. Like wine, gin, and food there are numerous websites and pages devoted to it. A frequently mentioned haunt is Coffee Branch in Leigh Street which is close to the Convention Centre and nearby hotels. Straight up apparently: “no slow food, no long lunches, and no fancy brewing knick-knacks”.

One of the jewels though of Adelaide is the Central Market in the middle of the city. It offers a huge range of produce and food in one of the largest undercover markets in the Southern Hemisphere. Dough Bakery and Patisserie has some of the best croissants and bagels in town, or if you want a long breakfast, try Atlas. Asian Gourmet is a personal favorite in my family – my wife vouches for their laksa and fried kway teow.

Finally, I want to acknowledge all the delegates who have made the time and effort to travel to Adelaide for USANZ 2024. A vibrant and successful meeting is only as good as the people who attend.

I look forward to seeing everyone next week.

Michael Chong
2024 USANZ ASM Convenor

Previous Convenor Updates

ASM Convenor Update - 9 February 2024

Hi everyone,

Less than 3 weeks to go now (or 19 days if you’re on the organising committee).

If you haven’t organised your accommodation yet, I would advise you to look into this very soon. P!NK has landed in Australia and will be in Adelaide the week of USANZ 2024.

A sign of a healthy society is healthy debate. We look forward to the debates that Dixon Woon has worked into the program. Topical at the moment from its headline in The Australian over the weekend is “Long-term antibiotics should be the standard of care for chronic UTI” between Ashani Couchman (SA) and Lenore Ackerman (US). Later that day Declan Murphy (VIC) and Robert Nam (CAN) will debate the ongoing usefulness of Open Surgery – Dead or Alive? Continuing the USANZ vs the Rest of the World theme, Nathan Lawrentschuk will take on Alan McNeil in “Gleason Pattern 4: Surveillance no More”

Now the real tips for visiting Adelaide (or any city for that matter) … cheap eats. Adelaide is full of affordable eating options which adds to its appeal. My personal favourite is a couple of blocks away from the Convention Centre. Adelaide Pho on Waymouth Street I believe has the best Vietnamese in town. Nearby is Sit Lo, whose Banh Mi gives it a run for its money. The only problem I can foresee is that you might not be awake for the afternoon session after lunch. For those willing to travel a little further Chinatown and the Central Markets are nearby also or just a short tram ride away. Dumpling King and T Chow are my favourites, although every local will have their own. For those who don’t feel Asian that day, Lucia’s is also an excellent option for breakfast and lunch and excellent coffee.

During my time as convenor, I have learnt it takes a lot of people and organisations to make these meetings happen, and I look forward to acknowledging them over the next couple of weeks. I hope members will acknowledge the contributions of the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry, without whom such a high-quality meeting as ours would not be possible

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the workshops on Saturday morning February 24th.

Michael Chong
2024 USANZ ASM Convenor

ASM Convenor Update - 2 February 2024

Hi everyone,

It’s February now and there’s not long to go! The organising committee is excited about all the final arrangements and guaranteeing a great mixture of education and fun in Adelaide!

A final reminder that early registration ends tonight – Friday 2 February!

There is a common saying that a surgeon without complications is either not doing enough surgery or lying. Dealing with complications (hopefully not regularly) is part of life as a surgeon and how you manage those is an important aspect of our practice. Nicole Miller, our visiting endo-urologist from Vanderbilt is going to present “Disasters in kidney stone surgery and how to manage them” on Monday morning. Nathan Lawrentschuk will present on “Disasters in Uro-oncology Surgery and How to Manage Them” on Sunday afternoon. I think these sessions will be popular amongst those who perform these surgeries regularly.

I also want to remind everyone about the trainee presentations at the Keith Kirkland and Villis Marshall session on Monday afternoon. This session highlights the quality research of our trainees competing for two of the Society’s most prestigious prizes in clinical and scientific research. The winners will be announced at the Gala dinner on Monday evening.

My sincerest thanks go out to those who have participated in the Scientific program and enhanced it’s educational and scientific value. I look forward to seeing hopefully many of you at our President’s and Convenor’s dinner at Aurora Restaurant on Sunday evening 25th February. Many of the local delegates have dined at Aurora and are looking forward to sharing this with you – including our local wine.

For those who need an after-dinner adventure – can I suggest East Terrace and The Garden of Unearthly Delights. Part of the Fringe Festival, it is a unique playground including performance venues, bars, an array of market stalls including foods, and lots of sideshows. A unique experience for those who haven’t been before. If you do manage to get down there, walk down the road a bit past the Botanic Gardens and you’re at the National Wine Centre, the venue for our Gala Dinner. For those of you who prefer whisky rather than wine, check out Nola. If you have to mount a ladder to get to the top shelf, there should be ample choice for all tastes.

I hope to see you all in Adelaide at the end of the month.

Michael Chong
2024 USANZ ASM Convenor

ASM Convenor Update - 26 January 2024

Hi everyone

Less than a month now until USANZ 2024! A final reminder that early registration closes 2nd February!

I wanted to remind everyone about the breakfast meetings that will be held before the plenary sessions on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with our international experts. Even with a packed social program it is still worth an early espresso to come and hear about their experiences.

  • Robotic Female Pelvic Surgery with flaps and grafts with A. Lenore Ackerman
  • Management of Metastatic Prostate Cancer in 2024 with Chris Sweeney and Axel Merseberger
  • Lifestyle Optimisation and Male Infertility – Does Anything make a Difference? With Cori Tanrikut
  • Practical Approach to Urethral Stricture Management with Paul Anderson

South Australia is known as the Festival State and the festivities have started. The Tour Down Under has just passed through and we look forward to the start of the Adelaide Fringe Festival in the next three weeks. Continuing my love of magic, “Barry Potter and the World of Wizardry” returns after picking up the magic award at the 2023 festival.

The Australian Good Food and Travel Guide has just awarded its “Hats” for 2024. Restaurant Botanic maintains its ranking as Adelaide’s most “hatted” restaurant in addition to being awarded Australia’s best restaurant by Gourmet Traveller in 2023. I can hint that the President’s and Convenor’s dinner will be at one of Adelaide’s “hatted” restaurants – satisfaction apparently guaranteed!

To all those in Australia (and New Zealand – can’t forget Auckland Anniversary Day on Monday) who have a long weekend – have a great one! And don’t forget that early registration closes in a few days!


Michael Chong

2024 USANZ ASM Convenor

ASM Convenor Update - 19 January 2024

The USANZ 2024 ASM is getting closer – the organising committee is now starting to count in days rather than weeks!

Early bird registration closes in a couple of weeks and most delegates are starting to think about booking flights and accommodation.

I’d like to highlight the final day Tuesday morning session to those who haven’t had a chance to review the program yet. Everyone starts to get a bit fatigued after a few days of learning, networking, and socialising. With that in mind, Dixon has put together an interesting set of talks and discussions about the future developments in our specialty which should be thought-provoking. We will start by hosting our EAU colleagues in the joint EAU/USANZ session. Arnulf Stenzl will deliver the EAU lecture “Application of Artificial Intelligence to overcome information overload in Urological Cancer”. Nathan Lawrentschuk will discuss the future of robotics in Urology. Later in the morning, Neil Fleshner will headline the final session about “medical entrepreneurship”. This session includes the journey of some of our local colleagues Joseph Ischia, Peter Chin, and Celi Varol in product development. I’d encourage everybody to enjoy our speakers to the very end!

Remember the Adelaide Fringe Festival is on for those who need more entertainment than we can provide at the Convention Centre. There are numerous acts to suit everyone’s taste – some a bit risqué for mention here! One performer who has caught my eye has a show called “And for my next trick….”, perhaps followed by dinner at Africola on East Terrace? Can absolutely recommend the Crispy Chicken Tea Sandwich which has stayed on the menu since opening.

Last day for early bird registration is 2 February 2024.

Michael Chong
2024 USANZ ASM Convenor

ASM Convenor Update - 12 January 2024

Hi everyone,

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed time with family and friends during the festive season and had a chance to recharge their batteries for 2024.

The USANZ 2024 ASM is now weeks rather than months away and final preparations are starting to gather pace.

One workshop that may be of particular interest is the “Write the First Script – Advanced Prostate Cancer Prescribing” workshop. The Urologist’s role in prescribing for prostate cancer has changed over the past few years from simply Androgen Deprivation therapy and antiandrogens. Joseph Ischia and Annabel Smith are chairing this workshop which will inform us on the next phase, particularly the arrival of newer antiandrogens to the PBS which will enable Urologists to care for their patients for longer. The management of the benign prostate also seems to have attracted much attention. Sophie Plagakis and Akbar Ashrafi will discuss cases in the minimally invasive sphere where newer techniques continue to evolve almost annually, while Greg Jack and Alex Jay will discuss Holmium Enucleation of Prostate, a technique which was pioneered in New Zealand and continues to be taken up globally. Silvia Secco from Milan and Nicole Miller from Nashville will lend their expertise and an international flavour to these sessions.

We are looking forward to continuing the networking in our social program. The formalities begin on Saturday 24 February with the opening ceremony, including drinks and nibbles, at the Adelaide Convention Centre. For those who haven’t attended a conference in Adelaide, the Convention Centre is a beautiful venue overlooking the Torrens River with the iconic Adelaide Oval in the background.

Tips for visiting Adelaide:

South Australia regularly features on lists throughout Australia and the world for its wine regions. Among South Australia’s wine regions, the Barossa Valley stands out with eight entries in the top 25. Barossa Valley wines are usually favoured by collectors who appreciate the region’s robust and flavourful offerings. The usual suspects of Penfolds and Henschke feature in the top 50 of the World’s Best Vineyards website, along with D’Arenberg in McLaren Vale. I would encourage those who haven’t visited D’Arenberg’s Cube to consider a visit. The Adelaide Fringe Festival is also in full flight – check out the program on their website.

Early bird registration closes 2 February 2024.


Michael Chong

2024 USANZ ASM Convenor

ASM Convenor Update - 15 December 2023

It’s now less than 3 months until the USANZ 2024 ASM, and the organising committee continues to work hard to deliver a meeting which will interest a diverse audience.

One topic which has not been discussed in much detail at previous meetings is that of the increasing transgender population. I don’t think anyone doubts that Urologists will have a key role to play in caring for this population. Dixon has given this ample attention in the program, which I hope will be engaging for everybody. It starts with an afternoon workshop on Saturday 24 February, open to both USANZ and ANZUNS delegates. Chaired by Dr Kieran Hart and Dr Adee Davidson, participants include A/Prof Geolani Dy, a gender-affirming urological surgeon from Portland, Oregon; Dr Ada Cheung, endocrinologist; and Dr Clara Soo, general practitioner. Geolani, Ada, and Clara are also participating in the plenary program on Sunday. Our speakers are experienced in transgender issues and are keen to share their knowledge about the special needs of their patients.

We also want to recognise the work of our colleagues in a more global capacity. Dr Paul Andersen, a urethroplasty surgeon from Birmingham, UK will enlighten us on his experience of providing urethroplasty in Africa. Our USANZ colleagues Dr Jonathon Masters and Dr Shiva Nair will provide a more local context on their visits to Vanuatu and Fiji.

Last week I hinted at some reasons to extend your stay in South Australia. The highlight in South Australia this week has been the reopening of the ultra-luxurious Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island after being burnt down during the bushfires of 2020. Kangaroo Island, also known as Karta Pintingga, in South Australia was named the world’s second-best region to visit on Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel’ list for 2024. They write, “There’s an otherworldliness to Kangaroo Island – or KI as you’ll hear locals call it – which dazzles, bewilders and intoxicates.” The Remarkable Rocks in the Flinders Chase National Park is a highlight for me, standing on the edge of the Pacific Ocean overlooking those granite cliffs. Come and enjoy the same experiences as others staying in one of the most luxurious places of accommodation that Australia has to offer!

Early bird registration closes 2 February 2024.

Michael Chong
2024 USANZ ASM Convenor

ASM Convenor Update - 8 December 2023

This week marks the publication of the scientific program for USANZ 2024 ASM! Dixon Woon, our Scientific Committee Chair, has worked exceptionally hard to deliver an outstanding program. I hope you will take a bit of time to peruse the scientific program to discover updates, controversies and discussions occurring in global urology.

The USANZ ASM is an internationally recognised world-class event and the faculty of international and local speakers who will be converging on Adelaide to share their knowledge and expertise, makes the 2024 ASM, an event not to be missed! We look forward to welcoming representatives from the American Urological Association, European Association of Urology, Urological Association of Asia, British Association of Urological Surgeons, the Société Internationale d’Urologie and the Korean Urological Association.

Congratulations to all those who have had their abstracts accepted. We look forward to you presenting your research which I am sure will stimulate much thought and discussion.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article “Why Adelaide Might Secretly Be Australia’s Coolest City According to Insiders” Those of us who live here have tried to keep this a secret for a while but it looks like the cat is out of the bag now! We look forward to showing you that we are much more than the “Big Reds” of the Barossa and Coonawarra, and showcasing a diverse scene of gastronomy and produce from across the state.

Adelaide is known as “The Festival State” and February will be no exception. The Adelaide Fringe Festival is one of the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest performing arts festivals with performers from around the world. The full program is on sale now! Check out: Adelaidefringe.com.au and extend your stay in Adelaide.

The Organising Committee and I look forward to welcoming you to Adelaide in February 2024.

Michael Chong
2024 USANZ ASM Convenor