I am a female who is about 5'1" and 90 lbs. I was once interested in ortho but that quickly died after I realized I would need assistance more often than not on major surgical procedures. There are many reasons why I have decided to pursue urology. I know urology has its fair share of long and grueling cases, but will my size be a detriment to success in this field? I understand training will be extremely hard and tiring, but I do not plan on pursuing further training in oncology. Rather, I'd prefer endourology or pediatrics. I have been told by several peers who are not in urology to rethink my decision based on the strength requirements of the field and what my build can handle. Any thoughts? Thanks!
So you're definitely pretty petite =) but I'm really not sure what "strength requirements of urology" they're speaking of. There ARE strength requirements to doing any surgical specialty, which apply to Uro too. I'm assuming you haven't done your surgery or GYN clerkship yet b/c if you can do what's necessary there (like moving patients from the OR table to/from stretchers, positioning their legs, pushing the patient on a stretcher to the PACU, positioning them for robotic cases, etc.) then you'll be good for Uro. The surgeries themselves are not especially physically demanding...there's some retracting like in all specialties but you can be standing on 4 stools for that if you need to. If you're having a really hard time with those basic surgical tasks then I'd say you should just hit the gym, do some weight lifting and get stronger. ;) But seriously, the operations themselves don't require any special strength (besides the ability to stand for hours and stay focused) so if you absolutely love operating but just physically can't move a lot of patients, you should still do the field. There's always other people around to help with stuff like moving the patients...people might bitch about it (or about you, depending on how needy you are and how you ask them to help) but if you do it nicely and make a joke about your "disability" (and are smart and an otherwise good resident and surgeon) I think people will get over it. If you love surgery, then do it. If you don't care that much, then pursue something else (which is true no matter what size you are).
I have already completed my surgery and gyn rotations and did just fine. I had no problems retracting for long periods or pushing and positioning patients unless they weighed like 350lbs. But then I am sure most would have needed to ask for help at that point. Thanks for your reply!
Go for it. There are plenty of petite female urologists out there and even more in gen surg. Urology is no more strength-requiring than gen surg.
petite is putting it lightly. sure you don't have an eating disorder? :)you should tell your peers that it takes no strength at all to sit at the console and do laparoscopy.there are times where you may have trouble, though, to be honest. i did a lap nephrectomy on this 300 lb guy once and my arms were sore for a week after from having to apply so much torque on the bariatric ports.on the bright side, DREs won't hurt as much...assuming you don't have disproportionately thick fingers.