An urologist is a physician who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract (men and women) and the male reproductive system. This can include diseases affecting the bladder, urethra, ureters, kidneys, and adrenal glands in sexes and the epididymis, penis, prostate, seminal vesicles and testes specifically in men.
In 2013, there were an estimated 9,500 urologists in the US. This number has been projected to fall to 7,500 by 2020
Urology, the study of conditions of the urinary tract and male reproductive system, is a broad field. Although it is generally classified as a surgical specialty, urologists require knowledge of other specialties such as gynecology and internal medicine due to the wide variety of clinical problems that they have to deal with.
To become a urologist in the US, candidates graduate from an approved medical school and complete a urology residency program that takes a minimum of 5 (generally 6) years to complete, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). After completion of the residency, urologist are examined and certified by the American Board of Urology.
Patients are advised to seek the advice of a urologist if they experience any problems affecting their urinary system. Male patients should also contact a urologist regarding problems with their reproductive system, annual prostate health checks or if they wish to have a vasectomy.