Friday, January 9, 2015

4 "why not's to be a urologist."

Now, although it may seem shocking to you after reading the above that not everybody goes into urology, there are, actually, at least a few reasons to decide on another residency. Below are 4 "why not's."


1) Surgery. Surgery is obviously not for everyone. If you have an immediate, visceral reaction any time you set foot in the OR, that's a bad sign. On the other hand, if you stand in the OR and think "hmm, this is really boring," you actually may be right. Being a third year medical student in the OR means a lot of retracting and a lot of being ignored. The key is to try and imagine yourself as the surgeon. If you still think "this sucks," it's on to something else.


2) Training. Surgical training can be brutal وحشية. Mornings are early. Afternoons become evenings. And sleep is hard to come by. Urology training programs are all either 5 or 6 years (depending on whether there is a year of research), and all programs include one to two years of general surgery training. It is a difficult residency, at least for the first three years, and you have to factor that into any decision. Of course, becoming a cardiologist or gastroenterologist also involves six years of training, which is to say that medical training takes a long time no matter what you go into.


3) Genitalia. It is important to put this topic out there. Dealing with genitalia and issues surrounding genitalia is not for everyone. You need to feel comfortable talking about and "handling" these issues. You can probably get used to anything with time, so it's hard to say that this should have a huge impact on your decision.


4) Men. Urology is a male dominated field. For those who are looking for more of an even split among the sexes, urology doesn't really fit the bill. Data from 1995 published in the Journal of Urology (Bradbury 1997) stated that women made up 4.2% of urology residents and 1.2% of board certified urologists. These numbers have certainly grown with time, but women remain a significant minority. Importantly, however, same article from the Journal of Urology surveyed female urologists and revealed that 94% would encourage other women to enter urology. Women are certainly coveted by residency programs, as there is a tremendous need in the community for urologists who are female. Visit Society of Women in Urology website ( http://www.swiu.org/ ) for more details.


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