What they do
Urologists specialise in the surgical and medical treatment of disorders and diseases of the kidney, urinary bladder and urethra, and male reproductive organs.
They surgically treat conditions such as kidney, bladder and prostate cancer, kidney stones, congenital disorders or traumatic injury to the urinary tract. They can also perform kidney transplants, vasectomies, and surgically treat incontinence.
There are currently just under 40 urologists in Western Australia, most of whom work in the Perth Metropolitan area.
Urologists work for public and private hospitals as surgical specialists and consultants. They may also supervise and teach medical students. They may be required to work long shifts, odd hours and weekends. They may be required to be on-call in case of an emergency.
Urologists may have to operate for long periods at a time. They operate in completely sterile theatre rooms and must wear protective clothing.
Tools and technologies
Urologists use a range of specialised surgical instruments when operating on patients including biopsy forceps, hooks, scissors and scalpels. They use specialised endoscopes such as nephroscopes to view the kidneys, ureteroscopes to view the upper urinary tract, and cystoscopes to view the bladder and urinary passage. They may also use equipment designed for keyhole laser surgery. They must wear sterile surgical attire while operating.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a urologist, you must first become a qualified medical doctor and then specialise in urology.
To become a medical practitioner, you need to study a degree in medicine. Alternatively, you can study a degree in any discipline followed by a postgraduate degree in medicine.
Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
To then specialise in urology, you must register with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and undergo a training program at accredited hospitals, and ultimately receive fellowship.
To be eligible for this specialist training, on completion of your medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for a minimum of two years (internship and residency).
Required registration and licensing
To work as a urologist in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Medical Board of Australia.