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GLOBAL STATE OF UROLOGY Challenges of Urology in Colombia

By: Jaime Cajigas, MD, Past President, Colombian Society of Urology, Clínica de Marly, Bogota, Colombia | Posted on: 15 Mar 2024

Although Colombia possesses all the modern technologies, their high cost frequently prevents equal access. Our country has a health care system with near universal access that covers almost everything for the patient; however, the cost of open surgery is more economical compared to more modern methods, especially in oncologic pathologies. In actuality, the outcome data between more invasive and less invasive procedures do not significantly vary when applied in real life. Endourology is a separate case since the associated cost is not so high and the possibility of reimbursement allows rapid dissemination throughout the country.

Our specialty has noticeably changed in the last 20 years, including at the level of diagnosis, new treatment technologies, and with the implementation of management guidelines. These changes have resulted in a more reliable and satisfactory practice, achieving a total revolution in the specialty. Likewise, in the coming years, the implementation of artificial intelligence and algorithms will pose a challenge for all medical fields. The challenge presented in adopting new technologies must be examined carefully, since not everything that is new is always better. Many times in the past, in our hurry and our eagerness to utilize new technologies, the medical community has overestimated the potential benefits and their practical uses in the real world.

In our country, attention is currently turning to new endourological management methods that allow us to change the treatment paradigm of lithiasis or tumor diseases. We must promote practices with benefits that justify purchasing expensive equipment. At this point, constant real-time or written communication within the urological community has been very important in achieving this goal.

Finally, the best advice I have for the new generation is to know your limits and find your niche within your particular practice since it is not possible to know everything and do everything well.