What's the Job Description of a Urologist?
Are you considering a career as a physician? Would you like to help people with painful and problematic urology problems? Have you already completed medical school? Continue reading to see if a career as a urologist would be satisfying for you.
An urologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating diseases and maintaining the health of male reproductive organs, as well as the urinary tract in both males and females. As a urologist, you can help patients who have problems with their kidneys, adrenal glands, and bladder. You also might treat male patients who are experiencing issues with their reproductive organs, including the prostate and external genitalia.
As an urologist, you would primarily perform surgery, but you could be required to have knowledge of other medical areas, including internal medicine and gynecology, according to the American Urological Association (AUA). You could use equipment like catheters and radium emanation tubes. In addition to surgery, you might use lasers or laparoscopy to treat urologic problems. In this field, your work could focus on one of the seven urology subspecialties defined by the AUA, including oncology, calculi (such as kidney stones), infertility, female urology, neurourology, renal transplant, and pediatrics (www.auanet.org).
Important Facts About Urology
|On-the-Job Training||Sub-internships are available|
|Key Skills||Organization, hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and communication skills|
|Similar Occupations||Physician Assistant, Chiropractor, Dentist, Podiatrist|
|Work Environment||Typically long, irregular hours in a clinical/hospital setting|
According to the American Board of Urology (ABU), after you have finished medical school, you'll need to complete a residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to become a urologist (www.abu.org). Residency programs generally last five years, and you can expect to complete one year focused on surgery and four years on clinical urology. In your final year of the residency program, you'll work as a chief resident. To enter a residency program, you'll apply through a resident matching corporation, such as the National Resident Matching Program.
After completing a residency program, you have the option to become board certified by the ABU. The certification process can be completed in two stages. In the first part of the process, you'll take a qualifying exam. Upon successful completion of that exam, you'll acquire 16 months of clinical practice and meet other criteria before taking a final oral certification exam. Your certification is valid for ten years, but you can expect to complete ABU-determined requirements every two years in order to remain certified.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to PayScale.com, the majority of urologists earn between $196,000 - $484,000 a year, as of February 2021. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not provide information specific to the field of urology, the BLS did project that the employment of physicians and surgeons will likely grow by about 4% between 2019 and 2029, a rate as fast as the average predicted for all occupations.