A urologist specializes in the urinary system. This includes the organs and tubes that connect those organs in your urinary track such as your kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Basically, they specialize in any disease or infection impacting how your body rids itself of waste.
Watch a video by Nationwide Children’s Hospital where their Chief of Urology, Dr. Rama Jayanthi, discusses why he chose Urology as a profession.
How to Become a Urologist
Before a doctor can become a urologist, they must take all the steps to earn their doctorate in medicine. Check out our article that outlines How to become a doctor to learn how to complete this step. After earning their M.D. title, those aspiring to become urologists must continue their education. According to the American College of Surgeons, this additional education takes 5 years and consists of an urology residency program, surgical training, and rotations in various medical environments. This additional training is vital as urologists diagnose and treat a wide-range of infections and diseases in both men, women, and children.
Conditions urologists treat can range from Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), cancer, kidney stones, erectile dysfunction, and incontinence. Because of this, they are trained to perform a range of duties from diagnostic tests to surgical procedures. There are additional sub-specializations within urology as well. Each specialization can take one to three years of additional clinical training after becoming a urologist. These specializations can include oncology, stone disease, infertility, impotence, incontinence, and laparoscopy.
Job Description of a Urologist
According to the American College of Surgeons, urologists in a private practice can expect to see 50-100 patients a week. Some days of the week they will dedicate to their diagnostic or treatment surgical procedures while the rest of the time they will see patients in office. In an office setting, they may perform other minor procedures such as cystoscopies, prostate biopsies, and vasectomies.
For people who like to see a person’s care from start to finish, urology may be an option to explore. Patients are referred to urologists when they are having complications relating to the male genitourinary tract and female urinary tract. They may be referred to diagnose the issue or treat a known condition involving the kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate, urethra, or testes. A urologist may also refer their patient to another urologist who specializes in their specific condition, such as cancer or infertility.
Teacher and Student Resources
Students interested in a career in medicine can review educational resources designed for patients. The American College of Surgeons has Operation Brochures for patients and they also have a guide to surgical specialities.
Article Career Resources
The American College of Surgeons. Urology.
National Center for O*NET Development. 29-1069.12. O*NET OnLine.