Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What is a urologist and how do you become one?

The public, my patients, and even some colleagues ask what a urologist does.

Here is some general information regarding the speciality of urology, including some material gleaned from the American Urological Association (AUA) and the American Board of Urology (ABU) websites:

What is urology?

Urology is a surgical specialty that deals with diseases of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs.  This includes organs such as the kidneys, bladder, and prostate gland.  In addition to surgical knowledge, urologists also must be familiar with specialties such as internal medicine, pediatrics, and gynecology to care for the broad spectrum of problems that affect these systems. 

What is particularly enjoyable about this specialty is that we can care for patients of all ages.   Many medical students are drawn to urology because of our stereotypical easy demeanor and our facility with both the medical and surgical treatment of genitourinary diseases.

How does someone become train to become urologist?

Urologists complete at least 4 years of medical school after college to obtain a MD. Thereafter, urologic graduate medical education occurs at training hospitals.  This consists of 1 to 2 years of general surgery followed by urologic training for a total of 5 to 6 years after medical school.  Some urologists do fellowships ranging from 1 to 3 additional years of training to further subspecialize.
The AUA has identified seven subspecialty areas within urology:
  • Pediatric Urology
  • Urologic cancer such as prostate, kidney, bladder, and testicular cancer
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Male Infertility
  • Stone disease of the urinary tract
  • Female Urology 
  • Neurourology

How is a urologist certified? 

In America, board certification is done by the American Board of Urology.  There are generally correlate bodies in other countries of the world.

The certification process consists of two parts:
  1. First part - qualifying written examination as well as a review of credentials, education, and training.
  2. Second part - After passage of part one and a minimum of 16 months of practice, candidates can then submit a practice log and undergo peer review and review by the board.  If the candidate is qualified, he or she can take the second oral certifying exam.
Beginning in 2007, ABU has initiated a maintenance of certification process for those who become certified or recertified.

Here are the reference links:

We’re quite enthusiastic about our craft and enjoy discussing it with any interested party. So please talk to one of us for further information!

1 comment:

  1. Some good points here, had great time reading this. Thanks.