Who Is A Urologist?
A urologist is a physician who specialises in providing medical care as well as surgical support to people complaining of diseases, ailments, injuries, and deformities of male reproductive organs, as well as urinary tract problems for both men, women and children. As a urologist, you will be diagnosing and treating these problems as well as performing surgeries or non-invasive procedures.
You will be using medical tools like lasers, X-rays, fluoroscopes, radium emanation tubes and catheters to conduct procedures on the bladder, kidneys, prostate, uterus, urethra, and adrenal glands.
Roles & Responsibilities
Consulting visiting patients. The primary task of the urologist is to consult patients to understand their complaints and symptoms. As a urologist, you will understand the problems of the patients and make an overall assessment of their medical conditions. For example, you will have a go through the patient’s medical history to understand the implications of past disorders on the present ailment.
Conducting assessments and diagnostics. The urologist has to diagnose the underlying problem so they proceed to prescribe medications or perform surgeries. You will have to determine the cause of the symptoms and arrive at a diagnosis. You will have to study the symptoms, identify the underlying root cause and accordingly decide on the next course of action.
Designing the treatment plan for patients. After the diagnosis, the next step is to design a plan of action to treat the disorder or disease. You will determine the treatment methods suitable for the patients and discuss the same with them. You will have to brief your patient about the potential benefits and risks of the treatment plan and obtain the necessary consent.
Performing surgeries. Urologists are trained in both medical as well as surgical procedures. As one, you will do the necessary paperwork, preparation for the surgery, perform it and provide support during the postoperative recovery stage. You will have to schedule time for the surgery, designate a space and staff and ensure that all the equipment and supplies for operations are in place.
Maintaining equipment properly. As a urologist, you will be using a lot of medical tools. You will have to ensure the proper use and maintenance of the same.
Keeping track and record of the health of patients. Patients often will require multiple meetings with the urologist. Consider a senior citizen suffering from urinary tract blockage. There could be recurring problems and thus would require your regular consultation at frequent intervals. You will be expected to maintain a record of the treatment plan until the conclusion of treatment.
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What Skills Will I Need To Have To Do This Job Well?
As exciting as this sounds, there are some things you’ll need to learn to do the job right:
DATA INTERPRETATION SKILLS
You should be able to interpret the patient’s problem based on his/her description of the ailment, medical history and overall medical condition. Apart from that, you will be using tests and examination findings to form a well-rounded and proficient approach to clinical examination and procedural skills. Your interpretation skills will be crucial in identifying serious and potentially fatal conditions such as prostate or testicular cancer.
TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
As a urologist, you must have a firm grip on the use of medical tools as well as have a thorough knowledge of the specialised area of human anatomy. You should also have good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity to successfully perform surgical procedures.
Urologists deal with people suffering from various disorders. To cure these disorders, you, as the urologist, may have to perform surgeries, which in turn requires interaction with a lot of support staff and professional colleagues. Therefore as a urologist, you should be a good communicator and be able to coordinate the treatment smoothly. Apart from explaining and comforting the patients, you will also interact with a lot of your own colleagues. Hence, sound communication skills are highly important.
A urologist often has to perform lengthy surgeries and work for a prolonged duration. If as one, you work in a hospital, you will be required to do rounds of wards and be available on call at odd hours. All these occupational requirements call for adequate physical fitness.
A urologist must be able to provide assurance and instil confidence and strength in the patient. If you were to become one, you will be expected to be a good listener with empathy for the patient and his/her circumstances. Empathy should not be limited only to patients, but also towards the juniors and support staff who form part of the treatment and surgery team.
As a urologist, you will also have to ensure efficiency in the clinic/hospital’s operations, supervise the record-keeping and utilisation of technology in your workplace. This will assume more significance as you get promoted and take up a more managerial role. You will also be involved in strategic decisions like designing a structured care plan, using new technologies and developing relevant business and financial management skills.
What Will My Workplace Look Like?
Urologists find employment in various medical institutions such as clinics, hospitals or work as private practitioners. As a urologist, you are likely to be working for more than 40 hours a week. Due to lengthy surgeries, urologists have to sometimes work at abnormal or extended work hours. You may have to respond to on-call duties in order to meet the patient’s need at any time of the day, particularly if you are working in a hospital.
The work environment for a urologist can be stressful due to the unsettling smell and sight. You may be required to do rounds of wards, attending to out-patients, performing surgeries and may also be conducting teaching sessions.
What Is My Scope For Career Growth As A Urologist?
The job outlook for urologists is promising, particularly due to the lifestyle diseases in urban centres that need prompt medical care. There are good possibilities of working in a hospital’s urology department.
Alternately you can run your own private kidney and Uro Stone clinic as a stand-alone one or part of group practice. You can make good money once your reputation grows. Urologists may also become teachers in medical schools and colleges.
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How Much Will I Get Paid?
The exact number will depend on the reputation and expertise in the profession, but we can give you a general idea.
Urologists earn between INR 858,000 – 9,400,000 per annum in India at an average of INR 2,440,000.
Seniority is an important factor in the earnings in the medical profession, and once you are a senior urologist you could be earning much more compared to entry-level pay. The earnings in private practice will entirely depend on your reputation as a professional.
Okay, I'm sold. This is amazing!
STEP 1: Foundation
Your initial journey would be the same as it would be for a regular doctor.
STEP 2: Post Graduation
MBBS doctors can appear for Post Graduate Medical Entrance tests to pursue Master of Surgery (MS). These courses are generally for three years. Besides, there is the option to pursue DNB from private institutions.
STEP 3: Higher Studies
After completing MS, ENT surgeons can pursue the 3-year M.Ch (Master of Surgery) degree. This course gives you the option of further research work and super-specialisation with the exposure of residency.
STEP 4: Land a Job
At this stage, you are a qualified Urologist and you can choose a private practice or employment in a healthcare institute.
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