A practicing urologist, by definition, is a specialist medical professional who is responsible for diagnosing and treating medical conditions related to the male and female urinary tract as well as the male reproductive organs. Apart from diagnosing and prescribing oral medications, the job of a practicing urologist also includes performing surgeries as well. While practicing as a urologist, you can work at hospitals or even private medical clinics. Some of the common issues treated by a urologist include:
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones and other kidney diseases
- Urologic oncology (Prostate, kidney, or bladder)
- Pediatric urology
- Urethral stricture
- Bladder collapse
- Interstitial cystitis as well as
- Incontinence etc
Skills required for the job of a practicing urologist
- Patience and compassion to listen to patients’ complaints and respond to their queries are crucial to working as a practicing urologist.
- Ability to pay attention to detail
- Sound communication skills
- Posses a strong stomach for blood (Especially if you are going to perform surgeries)
- Having an exceptional hand-eye coordination
- The grit to work under pressure, make decisions on the spot, and also manage uncertainty
- Being emotionally resilient in challenging medical situations
- The job of a practicing urologist also demands having strong organizational skills.
- Being comfortable working at odd hours (be it answering a patient’s call or performing an unscheduled, emergency surgery)
- Collaborating with other medical professionals with ease
Duties and Responsibilities
A typical workday in the life of a practicing urologist includes the following responsibilities:
- Listen to patient complaints and take appropriate action.
- Evaluate the condition of patients as well as order necessary tests and exams
- Treat diseases and disorders related to the urinary tract, kidney, bladder, reproductive organs, cancer, incontinence, and male infertility.
- Consult with nephrologists and work along with them to treat patients
- Perform surgeries if and when required
- Access latest technologies and use advanced procedures in treating patients
- Provide emotional support to patients and families
- Deliver patient care both pre-operative and post-operation
- Educate patients as well as the family. This includes explaining the current situation, the suggested procedure, and laying down other treatment options in front of them.
- Document and maintain records on patients.
- Attend training and seminars to stay updated with the latest trends and developments.
- Participate in various urology research activities
- Collaborate and work closely with physicians or other medical professionals (if needed)
To become a practicing urologist, one must undergo extensive learning and training. The educational and licensing requirements for the job of a practicing urologist include:
· A Bachelor’s degree in Science
· A four-year-long Master’s degree from an accredited school (During this time, aspiring urologists cover subjects like human anatomy, pathology, pharmacology, etc. Additionally, they also gain significant experience of patient care through clinical rotations.)
- Upon completion, they sit for the US Medical Examination to get licensed and start working as a Registered Doctor.
- To work as a practicing urologist, one must also complete a two-year-long residency in urology to adopt the specialty practice.
- Next, they must attend a fellowship program in urology. Completing this fellowship program will make you eligible to obtain higher credentials.
What about the work environment?
Unlike other medical professionals, the job of a practicing urologist is, in fact, an outstanding balance between office work, surgeries, and staying updated with the rapidly changing technology. While working as a urologist, one can operate out of hospitals and perform surgeries if required, or you can even open up your private practice. Irrespective of where you choose to work, a typical day at the job of a practicing urologist includes examining patients, performing tests, and diagnosing illness. All this makes the working hours for a urologist quite relaxing. On the other hand, working in a hospital setting can expect to be on call for emergencies or surgeries.
Salary and Career Prospects:
Did you know that only a few specialties within the medical profession pay more than urology? The average annual income is $252,040 and is still expected to grow by 7%. Additionally, you can also expect to earn an income as high as $422,921 a year, depending on your qualification and experience.
The job of a practicing urologist is indeed a lucrative career to look into while choosing a specialty. A newly minted urologist is no longer limited to working in the hospital. He can also work as an academician, join a large or small group practice, or become a solo practitioner.