Urologist Education, Training, and Certification Overview
A urologist is a physician who has specialized knowledge and skill regarding problems of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs. Because of the variety of clinical problems encountered, knowledge of internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, and other specialties is required of the urologist. Urology is classified as a surgical subspecialty. A urologist with advanced qualifications in surgery may be a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS).
The American Urological Association has identified eight subspecialty areas:
- Pediatric urology
- Urologic oncology
- Renal transplantation
- Male infertility
- Urinary tract stones
- Female urology
- Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
To be certified by the American Board of Urology, the urologist must fulfill specified educational and examination requirements.
Education Information for Urologists
Urologists must graduate from an approved medical school and complete an ACGME accredited urology residency program that is a minimum of 5 years in length. One year must be spent in general surgery, 3 years in clinical urology, and a minimum of 6 months in general surgery, urology, or a clinical discipline relevant to urology. The final year of training must be spent as a senior/chief resident in urology with appropriate clinical responsibility under supervision.
Examinations for Urologists
After completing graduate education, surgeons may apply for certification by the American Board of Urology (ABU). Applicants approved by the Board to enter the certification process must complete both a Qualifying Examination (Part I) and, after passing this examination, a subsequent Certifying Examination (Part II).
Common Conditions Treated by Urologists
- benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate
- cancers of the urinary tract (such as kidney cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and testicular cancers)
- infertility in women or men
- interstitial cystitis
- kidney stones
- urinary incontinence; overactive bladder
- sexual dysfunction (such as erectile dysfunction)
- urinary tract infections