Urology is a fascinating medical field of study. Urology covers the male and female urinary tract systems and the male reproductive system. Many chronic conditions and emergent problems may occur within these systems, and doctors who choose urology specialties often find themselves challenged.
Ralph A Highshaw MD, a practicing physician from Tampa, Florida, shares why doctors choose to become urologists and explain how the field works.
The Basics of Urology
Urology is also known as genitourinary surgery. Specialists are involved in treating complex diseases and conditions of the male reproductive system and the male and female urinary systems.
Urologists handle diseases of the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys as part of the urinary tract system. They can treat common conditions like urinary tract infections and complex conditions like urinary system cancers.
They are also involved in conditions of the male reproductive system. They work in tandem with fertility specialists to help men become parents.
Due to the sensitivity of the systems they study, urologists must have exceptional bedside manners and a genuine desire to help their patients. Often, patients put off seeing a urologist because they are embarrassed. Still, urologists encourage all patients to receive the care they need to maximize their quality of life.
Specialties Within Urology
The urinary and male reproductive systems are sometimes separated within urology, but a good urologist knows how the entire system works together. They must integrate knowledge from internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, and gynecology.
They work with nephrologists to support kidney health. They also work with internists, osteopaths, and other primary care physicians to deal with patients’ ongoing issues.
Other areas in which urologists specialize are pediatric urology, urologic oncology, male infertility, urinary tract stones, urinary incontinence for both men and women, kidney transplants, and neurourology.
Continuing Intellectual Challenges
Urology is complex and provides continual intellectual challenges. It attracts doctors who feel that they would become bored treating only basic ailments. The interconnected nature of the urinary and male reproductive systems means that urologists must be aware of each bodily systems’ effects on others. They must be ready to collaborate with specialists from other fields.
Increasing Patients’ Quality of Life
According to Ralph A Highshaw MD, patients experiencing urological problems often suffer from emotionally distressing symptoms. For example, men and women who experience urinary incontinence are often embarrassed by their symptoms and unwilling to see a doctor.
Sexual problems are another area where people are reluctant to see a doctor, but urologists are ready to help them. Sexually transmitted infections are another sensitive area where patients may be unwilling to receive treatment.
Patients’ quality of life can be significantly increased by visiting a urologist. Urologists can fully explain the problems that patients encounter and help them achieve optimal health and better quality of life.
Further Reasons Why Physicians Choose Urology Specialties
Many would-be urologists choose the field because a more experienced physician mentored them in the specialty. The urology community is relatively small compared to other things, and there is a spirit of camaraderie among many physicians who practice in this area.
Choosing between clinical research and patient care attracts doctors to many specialties, especially where urology is concerned.
The Process of Becoming a Urologist
Four years of undergraduate education must be followed by four years of medical school. During medical school, many young doctors choose specialties.
When residency begins, doctors are placed in hospitals. They work with the attending staff and nursing staff to treat patients in the emergency room and outpatient clinics. At first, residents see less complex cases, but as they gain experience, they can handle more challenging issues on their own.
Medical residency for urology lasts for five or six years, with some programs including a year of research time.
Why Choose Urology?
If you are a medical school student looking for a specialty, you may find that urology is the best option. Urology is a uniquely rewarding field because doctors can treat patients for various sensitive issues and significantly improve their quality of life.
Urologists find it rewarding to help a woman with her urinary incontinence problems or when they see a baby whose father they have helped through his infertility issues.
Urologists never lack intellectual stimulation, and they must bring all of their problem-solving skills to bear when completing their work. They can help treat urinary and reproductive cancers and chronic systemic problems.
They can cooperate with specialists in related fields like gynecology and nephrology. Finally, they can take referrals from primary care doctors and help people with seemingly simpler problems with complex roots. Ralph A Highshaw MD encourages all medical students to look into what it takes to pursue a specialty. It may require more hard work and preparation, but today’s urologists reap the significant rewards.