What does an andrologist do?
Andrologists focus on a variety of male reproductive and urological conditions such as fertility and sexual health. They provide care to male patients typically ranging in ages from the onset of puberty to the elderly. The often treat patients with cancer, erectile dysfunction, infertility, and genital trauma. They perform many different types of diagnostic tests and imaging to determine the cause of the conditions and to help develop the best plan of treatment. They use a variety of treatments such as medication, hormone therapy, and surgery. Many andrologists conduct research to gain a further understanding of the male reproductive system and develop new methods of treatment.
What kind of training does an andrologist need?
Andrologists must complete 4 years of undergraduate education, 4 years of medical school, and residency training. Some hold a doctorate degree in andrology. They must have a solid understanding of the male reproductive and urological systems and related diseases and conditions. Andrologists are also often required to complete internships at facilities that focus on male reproductive health to gain practical experience in the field. Some also complete fellowships for additional training and specialty. Some andrologists specialize on a specific area such as male fertility, male reproductive endocrinology, fertility preservation, and erectile dysfunction. All states require andrologists to be licensed. Andrologists must stay up to date on current advancements in the field and must complete continuing education throughout their careers.
What are the prospects for a career as an andrologist?
Employment of all physicians including andrologists is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 14% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The aging male population and increased awareness of male reproductive health will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be very good especially for andrologists with advanced training. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace andrologists that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do andrologists make?
As of November 2009, the average annual andrologist salary is $37,000; average annual salaries vary greatly on location, company, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as an andrologist is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in caring for male patients with a variety of reproductive conditions. Andrologists must have a solid understanding of the male reproductive and urological systems and be able to apply that knowledge to many different procedures. Since reproductive health is a sensitive issue, andrologists must be compassionate and tactful and be able to make patients feel comfortable. They must have detail orientation, strong problem solving skills, and the ability to work under pressure. They must be able to make quick decisions during emergency situations.