Training Programme Director: Anna O'Riordan

Specialty Programme Co-ordinator: Trudie Heron

Why choose Urology?

Urology remains a growth specialty with expanding consultant opportunities. There is a huge range of clinical activity from Diagnostics and Endoscopy through to Laparoscopy and Major Surgery. Urology includes 5 Cancers, Stones, Bladder and Prostate Disorders, Incontinence, Urine Infections and Erectile Difficulties. There is no more diverse and challenging specialty.

As a trainee what can I expect from my training programme?

This is a 5 year programme with 6 month rotations with the last year usually being a 12 month attachment for sub-specialist training. Training centres: Freeman Hospital, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Sunderland City Hospitals, James Cook University Hospital, and Cumberland Infirmary. Usually 2 years are spent working in Newcastle. Most trainees live in the Newcastle area and commute to outside placements.

Our Urology programme delivers a traditional surgical education with plenty of hands on operating. Our trainees’ logbooks show them to have a wide experience with a high volume of supervised operating opportunities. Over a 5 year period trainees rotate across 4 centres participating in both Elective and Emergency Urology with regular exposure to major surgery. For the ST7 Year focused training is available to develop sub-specialist skills. All aspects of the Urology curriculum are covered including Paediatric Urology and Transplantation. Robotic training is available for those who develop an interest.

The FRCS Urology Friday teaching programme has been in place for 15 years and continues to prepare trainees well for examination with the local pass rates amongst the highest in the country. In 2012 a Simulation surgical skills programme was introduced at the Newcastle Surgical Training Centre. All trainees take part in a comprehensive skills course over a 5 year period including Endourology, Laparoscopic and Open Surgery using human cadavers routinely.

There are academic trainees on the rotation and there is a strong research culture. Trainees are expected to take part in clinical research and audit throughout training and there are numerous opportunities. The programme combines a high quality apprentice type surgical training with state of the art facilities and equipment. The programme is well-recognised nationally and our trainees are very successful in obtaining high quality consultant posts.

What our trainees say:

I am a Urology Specialty trainee and have just started my final 5th year (ST7). This involves a wide range of activities which the programme supports by giving great training. Activities predominantly consist of; performing operations 2-3 days/week with my consultant, managing ward patients and seeing patients in outpatient clinics. I enjoy the practical satisfaction of ‘fixing’ problems that surgery gives. I also like meeting new patients and also managing the junior doctors and nurses that are in my team.  

One thing I love most about my job is completing a difficult operation carefully and successfully which has real benefits for patients afterwards.


Information for Current Trainees

Access essential information on regulations, study leave, certification, assessment and the curriculum.

Information for trainers and educators

Development and guidance on becoming a trainer, standards for trainers, essential documentation for clinical and educational supervision including guidance for GP trainers,  Trust and out-of-hours supervisors, plus news about the latest courses and conferences.


Potential Applicant

Visit our Recruitment website to find out what it's like to be a GP trainee in the north east and north Cumbria.