By: Piyush K. Agarwal, MD, The University of Chicago, Illinois | Posted on: 19 Sep 2023

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had been selected to the 2023-2024 AUA Leadership class. Each year, the applicant pool reflects the best and the brightest rising stars of the AUA, and to be selected among this cohort is truly a privilege. This was especially sweet in that I had applied in a previous year and was not selected. So, either my waning period of eligibility or my perseverance paid off! Either way, I am truly thankful to my colleagues and advocates in the North Central Section and the National Leadership who bestowed me with this honor.

Selection into the AUA Leadership Program is affirmation of my capabilities as a leader. Throughout our training as urologists, we have had to be leaders within our various organizations in college, medical school, and residency. We are leaders every day in our clinic, the operating room, and our research endeavors as we direct a group of individuals to work cohesively as a team. Leadership is natural to the practice of our careers and all urologists possess this attribute. However, along the way, some of us are blessed by amazing colleagues and mentors who provide us with unique opportunities to lead on a greater scale beyond the scope of our clinical and research practices. For me, serving on national advisory and guideline panels, journal editorial boards, and various hospital committees have been some of these opportunities. However, the hardest and most rewarding challenge has been to serve as the University of Chicago’s urologic oncology fellowship director as I help to mold the future leaders of urologic oncology. I appreciate the AUA for recognizing my leadership in these various activities.

As a participant in this year’s Leadership Class, I am grateful for being acknowledged for my current leadership skills but am looking forward to developing them further. I am eager to interact with my peers to address challenges that face the AUA and to learn from leaders both within the AUA and from outside sectors such as industry and the government. This networking and collaboration will allow me to learn from the diverse experiences of others. The AUA Leadership Program has a track record of success in having trained current leaders within our field who I admire and emulate. As did my predecessors, I aspire to gain skills and insights into management that will augment my personal growth as a leader. Ultimately, I hope this experience will impact my professional growth by allowing me to consider strategic health care management and leadership positions within my organization, the North Central Section, and the AUA.