What does it mean to be a Urologist?
A general practice urologist spends most of his/her time in the office, which is where most of the practice income (and some would say personal satisfaction) is generated. Depending on referral patterns, the actual surgical case rate from that practice may be near 7%. Office procedure generation is somewhat higher since referrals for evaluation of hematuria and elevated PSA, for instance, will usually include cystoscopy or an ultrasound directed biopsy. In some group practices, one partner may be the beneficiary of surgical referrals from the partners but most general urologists must know how to evaluate the common urologic maladies and provide a variety of care options (both medical, procedural and surgical) to their patients. Additionally, Urologists work with other specialists (e.g. radiation oncology, medical oncology, etc.) who will often be needed to provide the best care to our patients. We are often the ‘hub’ of patient care and coordinate the activities of our consultants as we maintain the big picture of overall care. If your expectation is a high operative volume with little clinical involvement, Urology is not the field for you. However, if you enjoy a mix of patient care opportunities, don’t shy away from complex patients, and are not intimidated by an ever-changing therapeutic landscape, this may be the field that will keep interested for a long career. The American Urologic Association has prepared a video, which may be helpful in understanding why many of us chose Urology as a profession.
What is expected in Urology residency?
In general, the Urology resident is expected to be well-versed in patient care including the management of multiple complex medical problems while developing an organized approach to management of the patients’ urologic issues. Residents generally work in teams of junior and senior residents – so the ability to get along in the cooperative environment and to put the interests of the group (and their patients) foremost is invaluable to a successful residency. Another short clip discussing the life of a resident in Urology has been produced as well.
Our best advice
The best residents will take advantage of every situation as a learning opportunity. A complex case becomes a case report; a complication becomes an opportunity to improve the overall practice through new QI measures; a presentation to your peers becomes a chance to develop new paradigms for research. Residents who dedicate themselves to good patient care and take ownership of their career and profession do well and will be sought after. Those who just view it as a job or career controlled by others will generally get burned-out early on.
Work hard, work smart, work well with your colleagues and enjoy the challenges. If you take control of your career by making it fulfilling, challenging & fun, you’ll never ‘work’ a day in your life.
About our Residency Program
Urology training at UT Health San Antonio is ACGME accredited with 4 residents at each level of training. Three of these are civilian and one is reserved for a military trainee each year. A description of the program specifics and Goals & Objectives for each year and rotation is published in the Resident Handbook. Please feel free to click the link and review this document at your leisure. On the main page of our web site, you will find information about our entire faculty and the general workings of the Department. Some links to the local attractions and life in San Antonio are listed below.