From the Chief Executive Officer: AUA 2020 Census Finds Number of Women Practicing in Urology Increases Nearly 50% in 5 Years

By: Michael T. Sheppard, CPA, CAE | Posted on: 06 Aug 2021

For the first time in history, women urologists surpassed 10% of the urology workforce in 2020. The average annual growth rate from 2014 to 2020 was nearly 9% per year for women compared to approximately 2% per year for men. These new data, as well as additional findings regarding workforce diversity and the growing number of urologists utilizing telemedicine to reach patients in remote or underserved areas of the country, are highlighted in the American Urological Association’s newly released 2020 Annual Census report, The State of the Urology Workforce and Practice in the United States.1

In its seventh consecutive year of data collection, the AUA Annual Census presents a comprehensive portrayal of the urology workforce in the United States and remains a novel data source to explore the urological profession and report both cross-sectional variations and trends.

Key Highlights:

  • The 2020 U.S. urologist population consists of a total of 13,352 practicing urologists, an increase of 2.4% from 13,044 practicing urologists in 2019.
  • U.S. urologists handled approximately 42 million patient encounters in 2020, down from an estimated 47 million in 2019, presumably due to COVID-19.
  • The number of urologists self-identifying as African American/Black increased by nearly 9% compared to a year ago; however, the number of urologists self-identifying as Hispanic ethnicity remains unchanged.
  • Female urologists spend more time with patients in a typical office visit (19.2 minutes) than their male counterparts (16.5 minutes), resulting in approximately 156 more hours spent with patients per year during office visits.
  • Approximately 51% of practicing urologists in the United States work in private practice (down from 53% in 2019), while 47% practice in institutional settings such as hospitals or academic medical centers (up from 46% in 2019).
  • Nearly 42% of practicing urologists have a primary subspecialty, up from 40% in 2019. Oncology remains the most common subspecialty area.
  • Telemedicine programs are utilized by nearly 72% of urologists, a significant increase from 12% a year ago.
  • In providing telemedicine services, 93.9% of practicing urologists use video conferencing and telephone calls in servicing patients, while 4.1% use telephone only.
  • The top 3 consultation topics for which urologists utilize telemedicine are Voiding Dysfunction, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections.
  • On average, urologists’ ratios to Advanced Practice Providers (APP) are 3.5 urologists to 1 Physician Assistant; 4 urologists to 1 Nurse Practitioner; 4.5 urologists to 1 Advanced Practice Nurse and overall, 2 urologists to 1 APP within the practice or medical team.

The AUA Annual Census provides irrefutable information to fill the knowledge gaps surrounding the urological profession. Its findings serve as a valuable source to inform clinical practice, public policy and fuel scientific research. Further data trends regarding work/life balance, patient visits, compensation, retirement details, as well as other practice characteristics can be found in the 2020 report. Copies of the full report can be found on the AUA website at www.AUAnet.org/CensusReport.

  1. American Urological Association: The State of Urology Workforce and Practice in the United States 2020: Linthicum, Maryland: American Urological Association 2021. Available at www.AUAnet.org/CensusReport.
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