Urologic issues can come at any age and can be difficult to discuss. It’s part of what makes finding the best urologist for you or your family such an important task. Finding a urologist who can understand your issue or concern, as well as develop an appropriate care plan, is essential.
Urologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the urinary system in both men and women. They treat issues that may appear in your kidneys, bladder, adrenal glands, ureters and urethra. The urinary tract and reproductive systems are intertwined in men, so urologists treat disorders in both. Should cancer be detected in or around the urinary tract (e.g., prostate, testicular, kidney or bladder cancer), a urologist often is consulted.
Urologists treat conditions incuding:
When you meet with a urologist for the first time, be sure to bring: 1) Your insurance card and results from any blood or urine tests performed by your primary care doctor; 2) A list of medications and the dosage that you regularly take; and, 3) Notes on your symptoms or the pain you are experiencing.
The best way to determine fit is to schedule an appointment and come prepared to ask questions. But how do you get that appointment in the first place? Here are three places to start:
Ask your primary care physician for a referral.
Your primary care provider knows your medical history and may have insight into your condition . He or she should be able to provide you with recommendations about the best urologist for you.
Consult your insurance provider.
If you have insurance, be sure to check your plan to make sure the urologist participates in it.
Check with the American Board of Urology.
The American Board of Urology (ABU) sets standards for certification, recertification and subspecialty certification in urology. Board certification with the ABU adds a special “stamp of quality” to a urologist in practice.
Ask friends, family or coworkers.
If you know anyone who has had a urologic procedure, or was treated by a urologist, ask about their experience. First-hand experience from people you trust can go a long way in identifying a fit.
Review a urologist’s credentials and find a location that’s convenient for you.