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Closing the Gap: Women Make History with Urology Milestone

"The number of practicing women urologists has increased nearly 50 percent over the past five years."

For the first time, women comprised 10 percent of practicing urologists in 2020.

The number of female urologists increased almost 9 percent per year between 2014 and 2020, compared with an approximately 2 percent increase for men, according to a news release from the American Urological Association (AUA).

In fact, the number of practicing women urologists has increased nearly 50 percent over the past five years.

The demographics information, announced May 27, comes from the AUA’s seventh annual census report, The State of the Urology Workforce and Practice in the United States.

A look earlier this year into the number of women studying urology suggested the narrowing gender gap would continue to shrink. It found women made up 27 percent of residents and 30 percent of the 2020 AUA Match. With the median age of practicing urologists at 55, and 30 percent being 65 or older, the data suggests urology’s gender gap should continue to narrow in years to come.

Other key demographic highlights from the census report include:

  • The number of practicing urologists in 2020 increased 2.4 percent from 2019, up to 13,352.
  • The number of urologists self-identifying as African American or Black increased by nearly 9 percent compared to a year ago. The number of urologists self-identifying as Hispanic ethnicity remained unchanged.
  • Female urologists spend more time with patients in a typical office visit (19.2 minutes) than their male counterparts (16.5 minutes).
  • Approximately 51 percent of practicing urologists in the U.S. work in private practice (down 2 percent from 2019), while 47 percent practice in institutional settings such as hospitals or academic medical centers (up from 46 percent from the previous year).

The COVID-19 pandemic had a noticeable impact on urological practice in 2020. Here’s what the report found:

  • Urologists handled approximately 42 million patient encounters in 2020 in the U.S., down from an estimated 47 million in 2019.
  • Nearly 72 percent of urologists utilized telemedicine programs, a drastic increase from 12 percent a year ago.
  • The top three consultation topics for which urologists utilize telemedicine are voiding dysfunction, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and recurrent urinary tract infections.

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