Andrologists are medical physicians that deal with men’s health, especially the male reproductive system. They specialize in issues such as infertility, erectile dysfunction, prostate disease, and more. It takes several years of education to become an andrologist.
A person must first attend undergraduate school, then medical school, then attend a residency for urology, and then receive a special certification in andrology. Overall, it can take 15 years or more to become an andrologist.
Why Become An Andrologist
Andrology is a relatively new field that has only come about in the past 30 years or so. In the past, a male patient would go to a urologist for any concerns related to his health, including reproductive health.
Today, urologists can choose to specialize in andrology, which deals solely with male reproductive health issues. These issues include things such as androgen deficiencies, infertility problems, erectile dysfunction, prostate disease, and other issues relate to the male reproductive system. Most medical professionals are either physicians or surgeons, but an andrologist is both.
An andrologist meets with patients in an office setting, helping patients with their medical issues. They take a patient’s medical history, update charts and more. They talk to patients about current concerns. They order tests and review tests for abnormal findings. They recommend a treatment plan, depending on the issue. Much of andrology involves surgery. A person in this field must feel comfortable performing surgery.
Andrologists should possess the following qualities and skills:
Enjoys working with people
Andrologist Work Environment
Andrologists often work in their own private offices. They may work as part of a group practice or a hospital. They work directly with patients, seeing several patients on a daily basis. They work full time and usually have long, irregular, and overnight hours. As physicians they must be on call, and ready to handle emergencies in the middle of the night, including emergency surgery.
A large part of the work andrologists do is surgery, so they must feel comfortable doing this invasive kind of work. Andrologists deal with the male reproductive system and handle male genitalia on a daily basis. Their job involves standing for long periods of time.
The median annual salary for urologists was $380,000 in 2015. Andrologists are a specialty that falls under the category of urologists. There are many different kinds of physicians and specialties in the medical field.
Salaries vary greatly from one specialty to the next. Somebody who has several years of experience and education may be able to earn a higher salary in their field.
Andrologist Career Outlook
The demand for andrologists, and urologists in general, is increasing within the United States. There are many reasons for this. In the country, there is a shortage of physicians. Some specialties of medicine have less of a shortage, such as family medicine. Urology and andrology have some of the biggest shortages in the medical profession.
The American Urological Association has historically kept the amount of residency positions available to a very small number (a few hundred). Today, many andrologists are retiring and there is a need to replace those positions.
Also, with a growing elderly population, many people are coming in to andrologists with health issues. There will be positions available in this field in the coming years, however there will be stiff competition as there are only a few hundred residency positions available in the United States.
Becoming an andrologist is not easy. It takes several years of education in order to become an andrologist. But if you are determined to become an andrologist, it can be a rewarding career.
The first step is to receive your bachelor’s degree. You can choose a program that interests you for undergraduate school.
Some of the most popular programs that people decide on are biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and more. It is important to take a lot of science and math classes during your undergraduate years. These courses will help you decide if you truly want to enter into the medical profession. It takes four years to earn a bachelor’s degree.
After you graduate from your undergraduate program, you will need to apply to a medical school. During medical school, you will gain an in-depth look at the medical field. You will take lecture-style classes. You will also be put into rotations, where you will learn about specialties within the medical world and think about which specialty you would like to enter into. At this point, you can learn if andrology and urology is something you are truly interested in. It takes an additional four years to complete medical school.
After completing medical school and deciding to go into this career, a person will take up a residency in urology or andrology. A residency typically lasts five years. During this time, they will be working at a hospital, private office, or other healthcare clinic, gaining specific knowledge about urology. They will work directly with patients and get to perform surgeries. At this point, they are not considered an andrologist, until they have completed their residency and certification.
The last part of the process is certification. A person can choose to become certified in andrology. This requires a written exam, an oral exam, and 16 months of practicing andrology within a single community. After all of these steps are completed, a person can be certified as an andrologist.
There are many types of classes that a person will take during medical school. Below, we have listed just a few typical medical school classes.
Anatomy and Physiology: Students will learn about the anatomy of the human body. They will learn about the structural relationships of the living human body. Students learn about systems of the body such as cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, skeletal systems, and more.
Immunology: Students learn about the immune system, how it attempts to eliminate pathogens, and how pathogens cause disease in humans. Students learn about antibodies, antigens, and other parts of the immune system. They learn about vaccines, immunodeficiencies, and other medical parts of immunology.
Cell Biology: In the course students will learn about the structure and function of cells, tissues and organ systems of the human body. They will learn about different cell types and the roles that they play within humans.
Andrologist Career Path
An andrologist is the most advanced career you can have along this professional pathway. In order to get there, there are other more entry-level careers you must have first.
A physician is a medical doctor that treats illnesses and injuries.
A physician meets with patients, orders tests and views test results, diagnoses a patient, forms a treatment plan depending on what the illness or injury may be.
A physician can have either an MD (Medical Doctor) or DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) degree. It takes four years of medical school to become a physician.
This is a good job for somebody who loves the medical field, wants to work directly with people, has leadership qualities, and wants to specialize in a particular field.
Related Andrologist Careers
Andrology is a highly specialized field. If you want to become an andrologist, there are many other fields you should consider as well. Here we have listed some careers which are closely related to andrology.
Urologist: Urologists work with both men and women. They treat male and female urinary tract problems. They also specialize in the male reproductive system.
Gynecologist: While andrologists deals with the male reproductive system, gynecologists deal with the female reproductive system. This involves the vagina, uterus, and rest of the reproductive system, as well as the breasts. Gynecologists also deal with pregnancy and childbirth.
Surgeon: A surgeon performs operations of all kinds on patients. These surgeries are used to treat disease and injury. Some people choose to get elective surgery or cosmetic surgery. They examine patients, perform diagnostic tests, and counsel patients.