The majority of graduating medical students will become primary care physicians. We discuss what urological topics primary care physicians need to know, proficiency in urological skills of primary care physicians and undergraduate urological curriculum recommendations that would serve the needs of primary care physicians.Materials and Methods
A written survey instrument was mailed to all 452 family practice residency directors in the United States. Subjects rated how well family practice physicians need to know urological topics and how proficient they must be in urological skills.Results
A total of 329 responses were received (response rate 73%). Respondents indicated that they need to know urinary tract infection, sexually transmitted disease, epididymitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia diagnosis, hematuria and erectile dysfunction diagnosis very well. They indicated a greater need to know diagnostics than staging or management of prostate, bladder, renal or testis cancer (p <0.05). Among diagnostic respondents indicated that generalists should be highly proficient in urinalysis interpretation. Proficiency was ranked greater for interpretations of semen analysis than excretory urogram, abdominal computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, or renal ultrasound (p <0.05). Proficiency in catheter insertion and circumcision was ranked highly, and vasectomy was ranked moderately.Conclusions
Primary care physicians need to know and be proficient in many urological topics and skills. They need to know diagnostics better than staging and management information, and urological infectious topics better than urological cancers. They need to be proficient in physical examination, urinalysis interpretation, catheter insertion, circumcision and vasectomy. Undergraduate medical education should reflect these needs.