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advice on a career in urology vs. ortho

Discussion in 'Urology' started by cdnmd, Feb 16, 2007.

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  1. cdnmd

    cdnmd

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    hi everyone,

    i'm at that point where i'm deciding what i want to do with my life. my first choice as of now is urology, with orthopaedics lingering in the background. i've spent lots of time shadowing and getting surgical experience, but i'm still a little confused. one of the key things that i'm lacking experience in is the clinic side of things. does anyone have any opinion or information on what clinic life is like for urology? i have till midnight sunday before i have to confirm my 4th year electives...thanks in advance!
  2. wanderingmedics

    wanderingmedics New Member

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    you get alot of clinic time with urology, probably similar to ENT. There are in-office prodecures you can do too during clinic: vasectomy, cystoscopy, prostate biopsy, transrectal ultrasound, etc. In fact, some older urologist will transition to an office-based practice
  3. cdnmd

    cdnmd

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    any other thoughts??? I'm still so torn between the two...
  4. andros

    andros New Member

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    Hi, not sure if I can help much, but I'll try.

    Urology and ortho are VERY different fields. I'm assuming you must have done some 3rd year surgical rotations in both fields to be considering them.... which one did you enjoy more?

    I haven't had any ortho rotations (none are required at my school and I chose different surgical selectives) so I can't really comment on what life is like as an orthopedic surgeon or what their clinics are like.

    Urology is a varied specialty... I'm going to say probably moreso than ortho. But, like all specialities, you're going to end up doing a lot of the same thing over and over. Most of the urologists I've worked with have about 2 OR days a week. The rest of their time is spent in clinic or doing local procedures like vasectomies and cystos. Clinic can be anything from a woman with chronic pelvic pain and recurrent UTIs, to incontinence, stones, prostate ca, adrenal masses, renal cancer, hematuria, etc.

    Urology generally has home call and less emergency cases than most other surgical specialties.

    I'm not really sure what else to say... they are VERY different. Which one do you like better?

    Good luck! :)

    Try checking out this website to see if it helps http://www.urologymatch.com/
  5. cdnmd

    cdnmd

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    hi, thanks for the reply. i've spent some time doing both and enjoy both - hence the dilemma! with ortho, i really like the anatomy, the process of looking at radiographs to find the fractures, the clinical examination of patients with ortho issues, etc, however, i think that i may find the procedures a little repetitive after some time (and i've been told that lifestyle isn't too great with call etc). with urology, it's more the procedures that i enjoyed, as well as the opportunity for long term patient contact as well as more acute treatments. not to mention that in urology, the staff/residents i've worked with seem much more similar to me in personality as well as the lifestyle is great with minimal call etc. (except right now in my life i'd love to come in any time for interesting procedures etc, but i know that practically, family etc is important to me as well)

    any further thoughts?

    ps - thanks for the website, i've checked it out before and it's a great resource!
  6. andros

    andros New Member

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    Hi,

    I don't really have much more to add... it sounds like you've experienced both and now you have to try to decide between the two. It's not easy to decide on a specialty, so I understand where you're coming from.

    I'm not completely familiar with the US residency match (I'm from Canada), but is there any way that you can do some ortho and urology electives and still hope to match to whichever one you like best? Ortho and urology are both quite competitive here and it's probably almost impossible to do that and still have a strong application.

    Are you allowed to double book yourself for electives? You could schedule overlapping ortho and urology for now and then figure out which one you want to go for and cancel the other electives. It's not the greatest thing to do, but if you really don't know...

    You mentioned that you think you would find ortho to be quite repetitive after a while. I think you will run into that with any specialty. It also depends on where you end up practicing. If you're in an academic centre, you might be the knee guy (or girl) or ankle guy or whatever, but in the community you might have a more varied practice (but maybe without the heavy hitting cases).

    Good luck :)

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