Urologist Job Description, Career as a Urologist, Salary, Employment
Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job
Education and Training Doctorate degree
Average Salary $87,000 per year
Job Outlook Very good
Basic Job Description
Urologists are doctors who treat conditions affecting the urinary tract of men and women as well as men’s reproductive organs. These organs include kidneys, uterus, urethra, urinary bladder, and all male reproductive organs. They typically work in private clinics and examine patient conditions and disorders through the use of x-rays, fluoroscopes, catheters, or other equipment that will help determine disorders in the urinary and reproductive system. Urologists also perform surgeries when necessary.
Education and Training Requirements
To become a urologist, students will obtain a Doctorate degree in medical science with a focus on urology and reproductive health. This involves 4 years of undergraduate training as well as 4 years in a medical graduate program.
Students studying to become doctors and surgeons work as resident surgeons in a hospital as part of their training before graduation. Once a student works as a resident in a urology center, they will be required to take a state board certification that will license them to practice medicine.
Training for a transplant surgeon includes performing surgeries on the male reproductive system such as vasectomies, and diagnosing urinary conditions such as kidney stones or various types of infections.
Getting the Job
A urologist must be able to work independently and conduct a surgery on their own from start to finish. They will determine exactly what needs to be done to a patient and decide just how much help they need in the operating room. They will choose staff to work with them on each surgery as nurses or assistants, as well as caring for the patient after surgery.
Urologists will need to understand the proper sanitation and sterilization procedures before, during and after surgery, as well as be able to handle the sometimes unpleasant smells or sights that come with surgery.
Urologists must be able to handle extremely stressful and high pressures situations, as surgeries can sometimes spiral out of control relatively quickly or the patient may respond negatively. The surgeon must be able to think quickly and keep all situations under control. They must also possess manual dexterity to multitask yet concentrate just as hard on each specific job being done.
Someone who intends to work as a urologist must also be continually up to date on new technological advancements and medical procedures being brought into the surgery room. Many states require surgeons of all types to renew their license every few years so they will stay up to date on any advancements and new findings.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
Job outlook for urologists is expected to grow significantly over the next 10 years. Many urologists and surgeons are reaching the age of retirement and will need to be replaced, so more and more positions are opening up for availability. More jobs are also becoming available due to the aging baby boomer generation, as more men are affected by reproductive organ diseases and disorders as they age.
Many surgeons will advance their careers by joining a group practice with surgeons in related fields, or by opening a practice of their own. Many urologists start off working in a hospital, and eventually work in a private practice or even open one of their own.
Working Conditions and Environment
Most urologists work in a hospital setting or in a private clinic. The environment can become stressful or intense if patients come in suffering extreme pain, so it is important for them to be able to keep patients calm and relaxed while observing symptoms and preparing them for treatment.
Urologists must also be able to handle the intense surgery environment. Surgery often comes with unpleasant smells or sights, and a surgeon must be able to continue working regardless of what happens once they are cut open. Some people may respond negatively to surgery and bleed excessively, so a surgeon will need to be able to quickly fix any issues without being interrupted.
Many surgeons work long or odd hours, and urologists will have to prepare to work later than planned or start a last-minute emergency surgery that could go all night. It is not unusual for a surgeon to work for 24 hours straight before getting time off.
Salary and Benefits
The average salary for a urologist is about $87,000 per year. Some urologists make significantly more if they focus on performing surgeries, sometimes up to $300,000 per year, while others who simply perform urinary and reproductive tests without performing surgery will make the lower end of the salary figures. Self-employed urologists working in their own practice often make more than a urologist working for a salary at a hospital. However, urologists working for a hospital will automatically receive health insurance as well as vacation time from their employer, while most self-employed surgeons will have to provide and pay for these benefits themselves.
Where to Go for More Information
American Urological Association
1000 Corporate Boulevard
Linthicum, MD 21090
American Board of Urology
2216 Ivy Road, Suite 210
Charlottesville, VA 22903
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