Urology is the study of the anatomy, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of genitourinary disorders. The genitourinary system includes disorders, cancers, benign tumors, deformities, and injuries of the kidney, ureters, bladder, prostate, urethra, and male and female urology and sexual disorders. If you are having problems with any of these body systems, you may need a urologist, meaning a medical specialist with urology training.
Urology Training Requirements
Urology training requires satisfying the following requirements:
- Graduation from a medical school approved by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or a school of osteopathy approved by the American Osteopathic Association;
- Five years of clinical postgraduate education is required, including 1 to 2 years in general surgery, followed by 3 to 4 years in a urology residency program.
Passing the Boards
Urologists who have satisfied these requirements are eligible to take an examination that certifies them in urology. Approved by the American Board of Urology, it is a written exam taken at the end of residency. Receiving board certification provides extra assurance that your urologist has attained a high level of training.
Knowing that your urologist is board certified should give you an extra sense of security that s/he has mastered the study of urology. If you learn that your urologist trained several years ago and is still not board certified you may want to ask why.
Specialization Within Urology
Urologists often specialize within urology, for example, focusing on men's urology, oncology, laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgery, pediatric urology, or other areas. For example, if you have a child with a urologic problem, you will want to find a urologist whose practice focuses exclusively on pediatric urology.
Urology Subspecialty Fellowships
Fellowships are available that enable urologists to specialize within urology. Areas of specialization include:
- Andrology -- study of the male reproductive system or problems of the male reproductive system and urological problems unique to men.
- Endourology/laparoscopic surgery - minimally invasive surgery
- Female Urology -- study of disorders specific to the female urologic tract and sexual health
- Oncology (Urologic Oncology) -- study of urologic cancers, notably kidney, bladder, prostate, and testicular cancers
- Pediatric -- study of urologic disorders in kids, including abnormalities of the urinary tract, tumors (both benign and cancerous in children), disorders of urogenital development
- Transplant -- the study of kidney transplantation
Trauma and reconstruction -- involves diagnosis and treatment of patients with trauma to the genitourinary tract and reconstruction and repair of injuries.
Urology fellowship guide. Downloaded from Urologymatch.com on Oct. 26, 2009.What is urology? Downloaded from the American Urological Association on Oct. 26, 2009.