The Perfect Urology Job

July 12, 2011

There is a good chance that by now you have received a few emails, postcards, or even phone calls advertising a urology job. If you haven’t, consider yourself lucky, but they will come with time.

With all of those emails and postcards advertising the “best” urology opportunity, have you ever wondered what is the “best” urology job out there these days? What is the best schedule, what is the best compensation package, where is the best place to live, etc?

Well, I think I’ve found the best urology job out there yet… below are some excerpts from this perfect job listing:

  • Choose to work in one of over 1,300 locations within the United States.
  • $1.7 million signing bonus (this is to compensate you for all of the hard work you have put into pursuing your medical education and training in urology over the past 13-15 years)
  • Base Salary: $170,000/yr. (even if you don’t see a single patient or do a single case)
  • Production compensation: ~$2,000/case
  • No clinic!
  • All you have to do is show up and operate.
  • No call coverage!

If you think that the above job opportunity is too good to be true, you’re half right. It may be too good to be true if you’re a urologist, but not if you’re a robot.

What if hospitals took a moment to sit back and try to evaluate expenditures and capital investments more objectively? If they did, then you might see the job listings on this web site look more like the one above. I would challenge any hospital to prove that their robot brought in more revenue to their hospital than an active and productive urologist.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against the robot. I enjoy operating with the robot; it’s a great piece of technology. I am just more intrigued with the number of hospitals that have a robot sitting essentially dormant and the number of places that have a robot but no urologist. (At the SES-AUA meeting, earlier this year, I met an in-house recruiter from a hospital in Mississippi that had 2 robots and no urologist, and they were really eager to find a urologist to come join them). If I were a hospital CEO, I’d rather have a busy urologist bringing cases to my hospital than have a robot and no urolgist. There is an element of “keeping up with the Jones’s” when it comes to the robot. Hospitals don’t want to be left behind and not be perceived as cutting-edge within the community. Though, I believe the “cutting-edge” element is lost when all market players have the same piece of technology. For instance, there are 5 hospitals with a robot in a Tennessee city with a population of about 180,000 and an Alabama town of 65,000 that has 2 different hospitals with robots. What is the population needed to support a robot? I don’t know that answer. But I do know they say you need about 35,000 people to support a urologist.

Would you go to work for a hospital that paid you a seven-figure signing bonus and a nice base salary in lieu of them having a robot? Are you ready to sell yourself to a future employer as an investment more worthy than any piece of technology? Well, I think you’re worth that kind of investment. So, when the next recruiter comes knocking, tell them that you want the “robot” recruitment package and see what they say… and then let the rest of us know what they say by posting a comment (below) to this blog post.


? writes:

toll Du Angeber

garth.miller writes:

Great point, Ian.  As most of your subscribers are American taxpayers, let me ask this:

-Would you prefer that our federal healthcare organizations (VA, DoD, IHS, HHS, CDC, etc.) purchase more robots or hire more Urologists (with better incentives)? 

There is obviously not enough tax revenue to fulfill all of our current needs for providers and technology.  In the VA, robots are generally joint investments with academic affiliates at larger facilities - Veterans get outstanding care and trainees get outstanding experiences.

Taxpayers cover the cost of transportation for the Veteran to travel from their home to the larger facility, and the Veteran covers the cost of their personal inconvenience. The "flagship" model is the fiscally- responsible model as stewards of the public trust (and funding)!

There are difficult decisions that need to be made every day. So long as we can attract highly-qualified, motivated, and dedicated urologists, I would prefer more humans at a highter rate of compensation (to include incentives).

Urology jobs writes:

Nice article. Thanks for sharing.

Julie writes:

Thanks for the great read Ian.