How are Urologists and Nephrologists Different from One Another?

The human body constitutes of a number of internal organs that correlate to each other in terms of functioning and help you to lead a normal and healthy life. The organs like the kidneys, adrenal gland and the urinary tract function in close relation to each other and make the human excretory system work effectively.

The kidneys of the human body produce urine that passes to the urinary tract for ultimate disposal. Although both Urologists and Nephrologists deal with kidney problems, their area of specialization is distinct and has difference. A Nephrologist treats the disorders of the kidney, whereas an Urologist deals with the problems of the urinary tract. Since the respective fields of specialization are closely knit, their differences are not too easy to identify.

how are urologists and nephrologists different from one another

Below given are some difference between Urologists and Nephrologists:

Residency and Fellowship

Neurologists completes residency in internal medicine for a term of three years after graduating from medical school and further accomplish a two-year fellowship in an accredited Nephrology program. The individual then achieves hands on setting under the supervision of renowned practitioners during the fellowship program. An Urologist in comparison completes a term of one-year internship in general surgery and further fulfill four more years of practice under supervision from an accredited Urological residency.

Variety of Treatment

Nephrologists diagnose and treat diseases occurring in the kidney such as inflammation of kidneys, cancer, diabetes and chronic kidney diseases and they do not perform any kind of surgeries. Urologists diagnose and treat diseases affecting the urinary system in both men and women and deal with treatment of disorders of the male reproductive system. Incontinence, growth of tumors, cysts and stones in the urinary system are examples of problems dealt by Urologists. They perform surgeries unlike Nephrologists.


Nephrology specializes in internal medicine. Non-surgical methods such as adjusting blood pressure, regulating electrolytes, balancing body fluids and controlling medicines and dialysis are all part of the job for Nephrologists. They focus on disorders that affect kidney function.

Urology on the other hand specializes in medicines as well as surgeries. They deal solely with the urinary tract and are trained surgeons who diagnose, cure and handle patients with urological ailments. Kidneys, adrenal glands, ureters, urinary bladder and urethra are their area of specialization.


There exists disparity in the income of both the Nephrologists and Urologists. A medical staffing firm by name, Merritt Hawkins, revealed from a study in 2010 that Nephrologists earns around $240,000 per year as their median income. The similar survey indicated a median income of $401,000 per year for Urologists. Another medical recruiter called Jackson & Coker in their survey reported a total compensation of $328,296 for Nephrologists per year in 2011 including benefits, whereas Urologists for the same year bagged a total compensation of $484,873 including benefits.

Therefore, it becomes clear that Nephrologists and Urologists function distinctly according to their specializations and abilities. Although, the subjects of research are quite similar, their streams are not really the same.