Andrology is a field in medicine that focuses on male reproductive health. Unlike urologists who address diseases of the urinary and sexual organs in both females and males, Andrologists deal with males fertility issues, hormonal disorders, erectile dysfunction and other reproductive conditions. As such, it is often argued andrology is a sub-specialty of urology.
So, what does it take become an andrologist:
What does an andrologist do?
The primary duties of Andrologists include:
- Conducting physical examinations to diagnose patient disorders
- Taking samples of blood, saliva and urine from patients and conducting laboratory experiments
- Designing and administering suitable treatment methods, such as performing a vasectomy
- Referring patients with conditions that require detailed treatment to other practitioners
- Conducting clinical research to gather more information on male reproductive health issues.
When in private practice or formal employment, Andrologists normally work from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. They can also adjust their schedules to meet the needs of clients who make evening and weekend appointments.
Because many reproductive health conditions don’t typically require emergency care, they usually have relatively work-free off-duty hours.
While at work, Andrologists work in well-lit, sterile environments.
Being a small field within urology, the annual salaries for Andrologists are not well-defined. However, since they are essentially physicians, aspirants can look forward to earning high basic salaries:
Mean annual Wage
Physicians ( including andrologists)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Like other physicians, Andrologists are highly educated professionals. If you cannot spend at least eight years in college before tasting the fruits of your efforts, this is probably not the career for you!
Therefore, to qualify for employment as an Andrologist you must complete the following steps:
- Complete a four-year bachelor’s degree in any science subject
- Pass the Medical College Admission Test
- Join an accredited medical school and study clinical andrology – this takes four years
- Complete a two-year residency program
- Pass the standardized national licensure examination and meet other state-specific requirements to obtain a medical license
Important skills and abilities
To be a successful andrologist you must possess the following skills and abilities:
- Superb communication and interpersonal skills
- Be Patient, compassionate, respectful and polite
- The ability to work within a multidisciplinary team of healthcare practitioners
- Good laboratory skills
- The ability to pay close attention to details
- The ability to keep patients comfortable as reproductive health is a sensitive issue
- A good sense of business – For Andrologists in private practice.
After getting hired, many Andrologists try to venture into private practice. This requires vast experience and sufficient capital.
If you wish to move into academia and research, you can pursue a doctoral degree in andrology. You can be hired by medical schools to instruct future Andrologists.
The American Society of Andrology offers membership opportunities, which you can use to demonstrate your professionalism to potential employers.
Besides private practice, qualified Andrologists can find jobs in:
- Outpatient clinics
- General and specialty hospitals
- Higher learning institutions
- Offices of physicians
- Medical and diagnostic laboratories
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of all types of physicians will grow by 18 percent through 2022. The increased awareness of male reproductive health and the growing aging male population are some of the factors that will drive the demand for Andrologists in the US.
So if you are keen to help males with reproductive conditions achieve better health, this may be the career for you.