Working life (urology)
This page provides useful information on the working week as well as any on call and other commitments, along with information on who you will work with. The attractions and challenges of the job are also in this section.
How your time is spent
As with any surgical specialty, you will spend part of your working week in theatre as well as time in ward rounds with nursing and medical colleagues. You’ll also advise and treat your patients at outpatient clinics, where a range of diagnostic tests including urinary flow studies, flexible cystoscopy and prostate biopsies may be used.
You might perform two or three operations during an average half-day in theatre, and see up to eight patients in a morning or afternoon outpatients’ clinic.
Operations can range from simple procedures to highly complex surgery requiring close collaboration with other specialists.
Any surgical post also involves its share of administrative work – ranging from writing letters to GPs and patients to attendance at departmental and multidisciplinary meetings.
On call and and working hours
On call demand within urology is not as high as that required in other surgical specialties, making it easier to achieve a good work-life balance. 25% of current trainees are women, which is higher than any other surgical specialty. Urology also has the highest number of Less than Full Time (LTFT) trainees than any other surgical specialty. Find out more about LTFT training.
Urologists are usually based in hospitals, but community diagnostic urology is evolving. There is also an emphasis on greater specialisation.
The EU Working Time Directive limits the working week to 48 hours.
Who you will work with?
Urologists work with a wide range of medical and other professional colleagues.
Within the operating theatre you will work with:
- other surgeons
- theatre nurses
- medical students
- doctors in training
- operating department practitioners
Outside theatre you will also work with a wide range of people including:
- patients and their families
- therapeutic radiographers and ultrasound staff
- administrative staff
- other doctors and surgeons including oncologists, radiologists, colorectal surgeons, paediatric specialists, gynaecologists, and neurologists.
Once you are a consultant surgeon you will be leading and managing your team.
Attractions and challenges of the role
Urology is a rewarding speciality, as there is the opportunity to make a difference to a person’s quality of life. There is often a taboo around conditions such as incontinence or impotence and urologists need an understanding of the psychological and social issues that their patients sometimes face.
The opportunity to use minimally invasive techniques and new technologies is unsurpassed by any other surgical specialty, which helps to make urology a popular and appealing choice.