Gender Representation in Urologic Subspecialties

Urology. 2018 Apr:114:66-70. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2017.12.034. Epub 2018 Jan 10.


Objective: To examine associations between urologic subspecialization, surgeon gender and practice patterns among certifying urologists over the last 13 years.

Materials and methods: Demographic data of certifying and recertifying urologists (2004 to 2015) were obtained from the American Board of Urology. We investigated gender-specific trends in self-reported practice type (academic practice, private practice), subspecialization, and employment as a full-time vs part-time physician, relative to certification year and cycle.

Results: Of 9140 urologists applying for certification or recertification over the study period, 815 (8.9%) were women. The largest proportion of female surgeon candidates (65.0%) was first-time certifiers. Women represented 16.7% of first-time certifying urologists (P < .001) and reported practicing in academia more frequently (23.6%) compared with 13.7% of men (P < .001). Female surgeons identified as subspecialists in greater numbers (46.4%) than their male counterparts (23.4%) across all certification years and cycle cohorts (P < .001). Women reported subspecializing in female urology (24.2%) and pediatrics (10.2%) at higher frequencies than their male colleagues (4.6% and 3.1% respectively, both P < .001). Female and male surgeon candidates requested certification in equal proportion in andrology and infertility (P = .83) and endourology (3.6% female vs 5.8% male, P = .13), however differed in oncology (4.2% female vs 7.2% male, P = .001).

Conclusion: A growing proportion of certifying urologists are women, with the greatest enrichment among those seeking first-time certification. Since 2004, female surgeons account for a disproportionate volume of urologists who practice in the academic setting and identify as subspecialists.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Career Choice
  • Certification*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Women / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / trends
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • United States
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures / standards
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures / trends*
  • Urology / classification*
  • Urology / trends