Trends in the training of female urology residents in Canada

Katherine Anderson, Karthik Tennankore, Ashley Cox


Introduction: There is limited research on why females do or do not choose a career in urology. Considering the increasing proportion of female medical students, we assessed for trends in female applicants to urology programs in Canada and their post-residency career choices.

Methods: Data from the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS) was used (1998‒2015). Trends in the proportions of females applying and matching to surgical subspecialties, and applying and matching to urology were computed. Surveys were sent to urology program directors to assess female residents’ chosen career paths over the last decade.

Results: A significant increasing trend in the proportion of females applying to urology as their first choice program was found (0.19 in 1998‒99 to 0.27 in 2012‒15; p=0.04). An increasing trend in the proportion of females successfully matching to urology was found, although it was not statistically significant (0.13 in 1998‒99 to 0.24 in 2012‒15; p=0.07). This was in keeping with the trends found for surgical programs overall. Female graduates choose a variety of career paths with urogynecology being the most common fellowship (26%).

Conclusions: The last two decades has seen an increase in the proportion of female students applying to urology in Canada. Female urology graduates pursue a variety of career paths. It remains imperative that both female and male medical students have early exposure and education about our subspecialty to ensure we continue to recruit the most talented candidates.

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