Benjamin P. Saylor is associate editor of Urology Times, an Advanstar Communications publication.
The recently released AUA 2020 Annual Census Report also contained notable data regarding telemedicine utilization.
The number of women urologists continues to grow, surpassing 10% of the urology work force in 2020, according to the recently released American Urological Association (AUA) 2020 Annual Census Report, “The state of the urology workforce and practice in the United States.”
The report,1 now in its seventh consecutive year, also includes notable data regarding telemedicine utilization.
Overall, the urologist work force grew from 13,044 practicing urologists in 2019 to 13,352 urologists in 2020. Patient encounters dropped to approximately 42 million from 47 million a year ago, “presumably due to COVID-19,” according to an AUA news release about the census report.2
The census found that although the number of urologists self-identifying as Hispanic ethnicity remained unchanged, the number of urologists self-identifying as African American/Black increased by almost 9% compared with 2019.
The percentage of urologists in private practice declined slightly to 51% in 2020 compared with 53% in 2019, whereas the percentage of urologists in institutional settings such as hospitals or academic centers rose slightly to 47% from 46% in 2019. A slight increase was seen in urologists who have a primary subspecialty, the most common of which was oncology.
At 19.2 minutes per visit, female urologists were found to spend more time with patients in a typical office visit than male urologists, who spent 16.5 minutes per visit.
Regarding telemedicine, the census found that telemedicine programs are utilized by nearly 72% of urologists, compared with 12% a year ago. The top 2 compensated telemedicine services are video visits/conferencing and telephone calls (93.9% and 77.3%). Voiding dysfunction, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and recurrent urinary tract infections were the top 3 conditions in telemedicine appointments.
"The AUA Annual Census continues to transform urologic care through the meaningful collection, integration and utilization of data aimed at informing urology practices, the nation's health care system and public policy," said Danil Makarov, MD, chair of AUA Data Committee in the news release. "While many practicing urologists were directly impacted this year by the COVID-19 pandemic, these data demonstrate today's urologist is more nimble and prepared to work harder to care for their patients."
1. American Urological Association. The state of the urology workforce and practice in the United States - 2020. May 27, 2021. Accessed May 27, 2021. http://bit.ly/2lLyP0q
2. Female urologists make history in urology. News release. American Urological Association. May 27, 2021. Accessed May 27, 2021. https://bit.ly/2RNTZva