The field of urology prides itself on being a champion of medical progress. Urologists have received 2 Nobel Prizes and have made numerous advances in the understanding of diseases and applications of novel technologies. In fact, contemporary urologic research takes on many forms. Pure basic science, translational science, clinical research, and health sciences / comparative effectiveness research are just some areas of scientific investigation that urologic clinicians pursue.
Rewards and Challenges
Participating in research is central to the job satisfaction of many physicians. The opportunity to advance medicine, to live on the cutting-edge of clinical care, and to be immersed in the world of ideas clearly satisfies some of the intrinsic rewards that many physicians sought when entering medicine. Furthermore, success in research also affords opportunities for leadership roles within one's institution, professional groups, and often offers a seat at the table with policy makers and industry leaders. Importantly, clinician researchers continue to remain leaders in training the next generation of practitioners. Clearly, participation in research has its well-known challenges such as dwindling funding, "publish or perish" pressures, and in some instances the opportunity costs of foregoing income from clinical activities. As such, individuals motivated to establish a dynamic research career must be well informed and well prepared.
Research as a Job Function
When considering a career with a significant research component, junior faculty members need to have a clear understanding of several factors that are critical to success: