When I applied for residency, Urology was one of the more competitive residencies. There were almost two applicants for every residency spot available.
Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.
Though the reasons for that decline are still debated and it is becoming more common to see papers in the literature such as this one which try to explain the decline, the implications of this decline for patients remain concerning.
As the number of applicants decline, the field’s ability to ensure that only the very best medical students are selected decline. We all know the old joke that goes, what do you call the guy who graduates last in medical school? Answer: Doctor. While we wish it weren’t so, there is variation in ability of medical students and as the field of Urology becomes less competitive, we risk our patient’s health.
To the American Board of Urology and to those in the field of resident teaching, please, for the sake of our patients, do not let the standards of teaching decline.
To my current urologists in the trenches of urology, for the sake of our patients, please, only hire well trained urologists.
To hospital administrators, for the sake of our patients, please accept that quality matters and hiring some new graduate is not the same as working with an experienced and well trained urological surgeon.
To my patients, before accepting whatever urologist you are assigned to, do your own research, not all of us are created equal.