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education Updated: Dec 20, 2011 15:05 IST

The lowdown
Urologists practise a superspeciality branch of surgery, which focuses on the urinary tracts of men and women, and on the male reproductive system. Urologists are trained to diagnose, treat, and manage patients with urological disorders. Urologists deal with organs such as the kidneys, uterus, urinary bladder, urethra, and male reproductive organs. Not just this, urology has various sub-specialties within it as well. Often, your doctor (urologist) might send you to another colleague in his field who has training that’s more aligned with your specific problem. In addition, depending on your health issue, the urologist may need to work in conjunction with a doctor from an entirely different medical specialty to coordinate your care. In India, urologists are very well-paid.

Job opportunities exist for them, in both, private and government hospitals. As they gain more experience, they can also set up their own private practice. However, setting up ones’ own independent clinic might require a good amount of investment

6am: Wake up. Freshen up
8am: Read the papers, leave for office
9am: Reach hospital and attend to patients in OPD
12.30pm: Visit patients in wards
1pm: Lunch
2pm: Do surgeries (if any)
7pm: Attend to patients again
8pm: Call it a day and leave for home

The payoff
If you manage to find a job in a private hospital, you can start earning as much as Rs1 lakh per month. The earnings rise sharply with experience and expertise, as in any other branch of surgery. In a government hospital, the starting salary is around Rs50,000 at the post of an assistant professor, which increases to R75,000 for associate professors. As a professor, you can earn as much as R1 lakh per month. Urologists earn the maximum through private practice. However, setting up a private practice requires a lot of investment and experience

* You must have an inclination for medicine and surgery
* You ought to be tech-savvy as this branch of surgery (like many others) is technology-driven. For example, robot-assisted surgeries are being performed in some hospitals
* Calm and collected, ability to handle complicated surgeries
* There should be a genuine interest in alleviating the suffering of the people

Getting there
After completing Class 12 in the science stream with physics, chemistry and biology, interested candidates should first concentrate on earning their MBBS. This should be followed up with MS degrees before they start preparing for the MCh entrance test

Institutes and URLs
* All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi
* Sanjay Gandhi PG Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow
* Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
* Jawaharlal Institute of PG Medical Education and Research,
* Christian Medical College, Vellore,
* Kasturba Medical College, Manipal

Pros and cons
* Minimally-invasive surgery is a highly rewarding branch of surgery
* With rising cases of stone and erectile dysfunction, demand for urologists is expected to increase
* The competition is tough. There are only 150 seats for this specialisation throughout India and the number of applicants is quite high
* Involves hard work and leaves you with little family time

There’s tremendous scope in this field as the number of urologists, overall, is few. Most elderly men and women need the help of a urologist Anshuman Agarwal, senior consultant in urology, andrology and renal transplantation, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi

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