A urologist is a physician who specializes in the reproductive system for males and the urinary tracts of both sexes. When I was a resident (not too long ago), I had a kidney stone during my emergency medicine rotation. It was terrible. But a urologist quickly put a stent in my ureter and later on, blasted the stone. That was done at the hospital. The removal of the stent was done at the urologist’s office.
Urology is a medical and surgical specialty so there is usually both outpatient and inpatient responsibility. Because of this, the salary is very good.
Just how much do urologists make?
The median expected salary is $295,206 with the majority making between $261,434 and $355,392. That’s based on Salary.com’s reports. Medscape has roughly the same median salary figure but their report shows that over 50% of urologists make over $300,000. 14% of these physicians make more than $500,000!
If you’re just starting out of residency, you might make $261,000 but quickly rise to $358,000 with a few years of experience. The maximum reported salary is $619,000.
To become a urologist, you need to do 5 years of residency training. The first year is usually a preliminary year in general surgery followed by four years of training specifically in urology.
If you want to subspecialize, there are a few fellowships you can do :
- pediatric urology
- urologic oncology
- female pelvic & reconstructive surgery
There are currently 122 urology residency programs offering roughly 200 spots, so it’s pretty competitive.
Urinary tracts, prostates, penises, and testicles. Those are the domains of a urologist. I’ve referred many of my patients to these physicians for suspected prostate cancer, kidney stones, and vasectomies. Their specialty is both medically and surgically oriented. Some procedures can be done in the office like vasectomies, prostate biopsies, and bladder cystoscopies but stent placements, laser stone blasting, and the like will require an operating room.
Because of it’s procedural and surgically oriented nature, urology is one of the 5 highest paid specialties. If you enjoy hands-on kind of medicine, urinary and reproductive systems, you should consider this field to see if it suits you.