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Women in Urology: A Growing Demographic

By: LocumTenens.com | Updated on December 07, 2023

Women in Urology: A Growing Demographic

The number of female physicians has been on the rise nationally. According to a 2022 Physician Specialty Data Report, more women are entering and practicing medicine than ever before. Certain specialties, like Psychiatry and Dermatology, consist of a more balanced female-to-male ratio of practicing physicians, with women holding the majority of providers. However, the field of Urology continues to face a wide gender gap. According to a 2023 Salary Report done by Locumtenens.com, the percentage of women physicians in Urology was a mere 13%, with men making up 81% of practicing physicians. A presentation covered by Urology Times demonstrated the high demand for female urologists when Jennifer Miles-Thomas, president of Urology of Virginia, participated in a panel discussion titled, “Strategies to Recruit and Retain Female Urologists in your Practice.”

While women hold the majority in some specialties, they must overcome the challenges of being the minority in others. Gender inequality has resulted in many female urologists facing prejudice within their work environments, forced to address misconceptions and preconceived notions concerning their ability to care for patients.

Practicing female urologists report not only having to win over the trust of their patients as a physician of the opposite sex but also having to overcome the same prejudices among their male counterparts. In an interview with University Hospitals, Dr. Jessica Hannick recounts her experiences as a woman in Urology.

"I have walked into a room to an apprehensive adult or adolescent male to speak about sensitive issues. Over the course of our discussion, not only do I have to address their medical concerns, but I also have to gain their trust and respect as a physician of the opposite sex, which often is no easy task. This challenge continues beyond the patient level but extends to working with trainees, colleagues, and administrators. As a woman, I feel I have to balance having a measured, confident demeanor while not coming off as too opinionated, demanding, or aggressive relative to my male colleagues."

-Dr. Jessica Hannick

Diverse healthcare teams are important for recognizing and addressing gender biases in medical workplaces—whether intended or unintended.

Many believe that achieving gender equality within the specialty starts with attracting women to the field earlier in their medical careers. Since 2012, women applicants to U.S. medical schools are up 49 percent. Urology has a reputation for being a male-dominated field, and many women are aware of that fact. Mentorship and guidance are the key to addressing these preconceived notions about the specialty.

Societies and organizations have been formed in order to address the issues within Urology and provide a group for supporting and uplifting the careers of current and future female Urologists. The Society of Women in Urology promotes women through education, advocacy and mentorship. Their mission statement operates on supporting, promoting, and succeeding in advancing women in urology and optimizing their success.

LocumTenens.com operates on the values of inclusion and equal opportunity. Providers that choose to work with us are paired with dedicated recruiters that present an ample number of positions that match their demands and preferences. These jobs are offered in a variety of specialties and offered to all, regardless of gender.

The path for women who wish to make a difference in medicine is open through all specialties, no matter the demographics. Women have made tremendous progress across the medical practice through the years, but the work is just beginning. Addressing stigmas and creating a future of female opportunity is the way to bring women into Urology, not just by increasing the number of female urologists but by changing the culture itself.