“Women in Urology” is a new Urology Times section in which women in the field share their path to the specialty and give advice for women considering a career in urology. Stacy Loeb, MD, MSc, assistant professor of urology and population health, New York University Langone and the Manhattan VA, New York, serves as section editor for “Women in Urology.” This installment features Mara R. Holton, MD, of Anne Arundel Urology, Annapolis, MD.
Please describe your practice type (ie, academic, large group, solo, etc.) and area(s) of clinical/research interest.
I work in a medium-size single-specialty group and predominantly focus on the care of female patients. I also am involved in administration as the president of my group and participate in lobbying efforts as the Vice Chair of the LUGPA Health Policy committee.
What prompted you to pursue urology as a specialty?
I was enticed by the opportunity to practice a surgical and procedural specialty with such a comprehensive medical component. Furthermore, I was compelled by the variance of interventions within the urologists' purview, from extensive open surgery to endoscopic procedures. Finally, in my early interactions with urologists during med school, I found them to be universally likeable, thoughtful, diligent, and collegial. It was very much those early mentors, and my desire to emulate their practice, that drove my interest in the field.
Although women are becoming increasingly prevalent in urology, they are still greatly outnumbered by men. What challenges do you face as a woman working in a specialty that is mostly male?
My relationships with my (mostly) male colleagues, especially during training, have been some of the most paramount and durable in my life. Ultimately, we have far more in common as trainees and providers than that which separates us. Nonetheless, childbearing and childcare can be very difficult to balance with a surgical career, and often even more so as a woman.
What advice would you give a female medical student who might like to pursue urology?
There is tremendous diversity within urology, enabling clinicians to practice in a variety of ways and settings, and there is clearly a huge demand for female providers. As the penetration of women into the field expands, we can expect greater flexibility and other changes to modernize the specialty. Indubitably, the longitudinal opportunities are manifold for intellectual growth and career adjustments, making this, in my opinion, one of the most versatile specialties.
Past installments of "Women in Urology"
We want to hear from you! Send feedback on this article to [email protected]