Aparna Hegde (India)
Aparna Hegde (India)Chair, IUGA Publications Committee

We have now entered the last quarter of 2023! What a whirlwind this year has been! I, however, write this note with a heavy heart, having just heard the news of the passing of one of the great stalwarts of our field – Professor Linda Cardozo. She was an incredible pillar of the Urogynecology community, an inspirational figure, and contributed in ways that will remain unparalleled for years to come. Despite her immense stature, she was always very kind-hearted and generous in her interaction with me from when I was doing my fellowship, as I am sure she was with everyone in the field. My deepest condolences to her family, friends, colleagues, students, and patients!

The last quarter brings in many changes in the format of the Spotlight. The newsletter will have issues every quarterly and not every two months; this will allow for several improvements. The newsletter will have more articles per issue, and there will be enough time to ensure quality. Since last year, the newsletter has been revised to include articles on topics that incite thought, include important takeaways on tricky issues, and/or help comprehend the management of patients in conditions that have still eluded comprehensive understanding. We have had renowned urogynecologists from all over the world providing their insights. We have brought out theme-based issues on essential topics like dysfunctional voiding, the posterior compartment, and geriatric care. We have also invited internationally well-known pioneering experts from the fields of urology, colorectal surgery, and gastroenterology to write articles. The pieces contributed by our authors have been phenomenal and deserved more ‘push’ in social media and elsewhere than was possible with the two-monthly timeline. These articles and our authors deserve a higher readership, and we intend to amend the lacunae. We will publish some articles beforehand on the IUGA website as a teaser of what is to come in the newsletter. We will discuss the topics included in our various social media handles so that you will be more informed about the content of the upcoming newsletter. In the meantime, I would also like to implore you, our esteemed reader, to go to the IUGA website and download the previous issues of the newsletter, particularly the ones on dysfunctional voiding and the posterior compartment if you haven’t done so already. I am sure you would agree with the advice if you were to read the articles in those newsletters!

In this issue, we decided to take the reader to different countries of Asia to understand the state of Urogynecology in those countries. We have eminent Urogynecologists contributing: Dr. Roy Ng from Singapore, Dr. Sayeba Akhthar from Bangladesh, Dr. Rahela Mohsin Rizvi from Pakistan, Dr. Mohan Regmi from Nepal, Dr. Jittima Manonai from Thailand, and Dr. Monika Gupta from India. Our own committee members, Dr. Maherah from Malaysia and Dr. Kazibe from Turkey, have contributed articles from their respective countries.

Understanding how the field (including training in the field) has developed in other countries is always helpful as it gives us a larger picture of the state of the field in the world. I am sure that you will resonate with some of the points made in these articles and may be able to draw parallels with the state of the field in your own country. The last article by our committee member, Dr. Hawra Badri, is a research round-up on ‘Geriatric Care in Urogynecology’ which could not be included in our issue on geriatric care.

I would like to end this newsletter by expressing special thanks and gratitude to Alyssa Miller, our outgoing manager, on behalf of the entire committee. Thank you so much for your hard work and good humor through the difficult task of meeting deadlines and churning out a newsletter every two months. I would also like to extend a warm welcome to Sarah MacKenzie, our incoming Manager, who has already made a mark in the two months since taking over the difficult job. Thank you, Sarah, for the leadership that you are already exhibiting in steering the committee forward.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude, as always, to our esteemed readers! We are here only because of your strong support.