Osteoth

Fake it till ya' make it
7+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2012
1,420
1,066
East coast
Status
Medical Student
So as someone who has just recently been looking into urology as a specialty, I've been trying to figure out how to deal with the "ick" factor that is commonly associated with the specialty by outside perspectives.

Not saying that I believe in this idea myself, but I was discussing my upcoming specialty choice with my sister and the conversion went something like this: "I'm looking at Urology, its a surgical subspecialty that deals with the GU system", "Whats that?", "Penis, bladder, kidneys", "Ew gross".

Given she's 22 and in communications but still, I have to imagine that that this is a conversion a urologist has a multitude of times throughout his/her life. Is there like a joke to tell when it comes up or a way to not have to say bladder and/or penis every time someone asks?
 

DoctwoB

7+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2010
1,732
852
Status
Resident [Any Field]
One potential downside to Urology (for those who care) is less sex appeal among the general public. For as hard as they work, I'm happy to let the neurosurgeons keep that. Most people have no idea what a Urologist does, that Urologists are surgeons, etc. For a field with great surgeries, variety, job security/demand, and quality of life for a surgical field, I'm happy to make that trade off. If you're looking for a way to "spin" it, just say that you are a surgeon of the genitourinary tract. I agree with the above poster that Urologymatch.com is a great resource for the basics of the field, the forum is pretty dead but it still has a lot of good advice about the field itself and applying for residency.

With respect to the ick factor in actual practice, it is similar to any surgical field. If the OR turns your stomach Urology is not a good field for you, however if you found general surgery to be fine there is nothing about Urology that is more "icky." I find urine less unappealing then poop or snot, but it's a matter of picking your poison. After about your 3rd DRE you'll realize its just not a big deal. There are gross things in every surgical field, from dead/infected perineum (urology), dead bowel (gen surg), necrotic head and neck tumors (ent), and so on.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Osteoth
About the Ads

dr zaius

10+ Year Member
Oct 27, 2008
1,368
408
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Back when I matched I had to print this out for my mother. She kept asking if I was going to do dialysis.

You want to do what?! | Urology Match

Agree with @DoctwoB regarding practice "ick." I'll take urine and semen over stool any day. Fournier's is probably the most "ick" we deal with, though that is subjective. Looking at garden variety genitals all the time isn't gross unless you absolutely hate penises, but I doubt you would be here if that were the case.

It's true, there isn't much public sex appeal regarding urology. The only people that generally know about us are patients and their immediate families. I'm OK with that. It inevitably starts a conversation when someone asks what you do at a wedding or party...after you tell them you said urology, not neurology.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Osteoth

armybound

urologist.
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2007
4,793
433
Uranus
Status
Attending Physician
You can always say you want to be a kidney/bladder surgeon.

Bottom line is that everyone has the parts. Some people need help with them. We fill that role.

People don't understand what we do and probably never will. I'm not bothered by that.
 

anonperson

10+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2008
663
606
Status
Attending Physician
So as someone who has just recently been looking into urology as a specialty, I've been trying to figure out how to deal with the "ick" factor that is commonly associated with the specialty by outside perspectives.

Not saying that I believe in this idea myself, but I was discussing my upcoming specialty choice with my sister and the conversion went something like this: "I'm looking at Urology, its a surgical subspecialty that deals with the GU system", "Whats that?", "Penis, bladder, kidneys", "Ew gross".

Given she's 22 and in communications but still, I have to imagine that that this is a conversion a urologist has a multitude of times throughout his/her life. Is there like a joke to tell when it comes up or a way to not have to say bladder and/or penis every time someone asks?
Just ignore it and laugh all the way to the bank.

The average person is kind of dumb. Not to be mean but it's the truth. Of course they're going to think it's odd that people would specialize in urology, ob gyn, Colorectal etc.

I did an ob gyn residency. I had a few people approach me on why I chose the specialty and some in a mocking way. Almost always an immature person.

Funny thing is, some of these same people would be texting me or calling trying to get free medical advice about their situation or of their loved one on random gynecologic or obstetrical issues.

Some people will talk $hit about a specialty until the very moment it hits them that they are having a problem only that specialist can address.

At the end of the day, I am practicing a specialty I find intellectually stimulating, get to operate, and have patients who show gratitude for my expertise. Doesn't hurt I make a reasonable six figure salary (nowhere near ortho or derm level) and am able to afford a mortgage on a new house.

As a urologist, you get all of that plus a huge salary and amazing job security.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Osteoth and smq123
OP
Osteoth

Osteoth

Fake it till ya' make it
7+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2012
1,420
1,066
East coast
Status
Medical Student
The urology match's site literally has a page called "What do I tell my mom?"


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Heh, I'm just recently starting to look at Uro, and being no superstar I feel inadequate to peruse that site :rolleyes:

One potential downside to Urology (for those who care) is less sex appeal among the general public. For as hard as they work, I'm happy to let the neurosurgeons keep that. Most people have no idea what a Urologist does, that Urologists are surgeons, etc. For a field with great surgeries, variety, job security/demand, and quality of life for a surgical field, I'm happy to make that trade off. If you're looking for a way to "spin" it, just say that you are a surgeon of the genitourinary tract. I agree with the above poster that Urologymatch.com is a great resource for the basics of the field, the forum is pretty dead but it still has a lot of good advice about the field itself and applying for residency.

With respect to the ick factor in actual practice, it is similar to any surgical field. If the OR turns your stomach Urology is not a good field for you, however if you found general surgery to be fine there is nothing about Urology that is more "icky." I find urine less unappealing then poop or snot, but it's a matter of picking your poison. After about your 3rd DRE you'll realize its just not a big deal. There are gross things in every surgical field, from dead/infected perineum (urology), dead bowel (gen surg), necrotic head and neck tumors (ent), and so on.
Yeah just more about the spin. I had previously been pretty heavily leaning toward EM as a pre-med, and that was always a field the average joe could readily understand.

Learning the taste of saying/explaining urology is just taking some time lol.

Just ignore it and laugh all the way to the bank.

The average person is kind of dumb. Not to be mean but it's the truth. Of course they're going to think it's odd that people would specialize in urology, ob gyn, Colorectal etc.

I did an ob gyn residency. I had a few people approach me on why I chose the specialty and some in a mocking way. Almost always an immature person.

Funny thing is, some of these same people would be texting me or calling trying to get free medical advice about their situation or of their loved one on random gynecologic or obstetrical issues.

Some people will talk $hit about a specialty until the very moment it hits them that they are having a problem only that specialist can address.

At the end of the day, I am practicing a specialty I find intellectually stimulating, get to operate, and have patients who show gratitude for my expertise. Doesn't hurt I make a reasonable six figure salary (nowhere near ortho or derm level) and am able to afford a mortgage on a new house.

As a urologist, you get all of that plus a huge salary and amazing job security.
Def great advice, thanks.
 
About the Ads