Medical Specialists of the Urinary System

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  • 0:00 Urinary System Specialists
  • 0:30 Nephrologist
  • 1:40 Urologist
  • 2:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

If you've ever experienced an unpleasant sensation or strange color when urinating, then it could be a sign of a problem, and one of two doctors specializing in urinary system disorders may be able to help you.

Urinary System Specialists

Ever needed to go #1 really bad? What if you really needed to go but couldn't, or it hurt? Ouch. That's all I have to say. No one wants to experience that. Actually, not being able to go at all when you have to is a medical emergency.

There are two main medical specialists who help treat disorders related to the urinary system. They are nephrologists and urologists. Let's define them and learn a little bit about what they do.


A nephrologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the kidney. The word itself comes from 'nephro-,' which is a prefix denoting kidney, and '-ologist,' to signify one who studies or one who is a specialist in something.

Let's play a short game to see if you can guess whom of the following a nephrologist would treat. We have Bob, who has kidney stones. There's Lisa, who has high blood pressure. And finally, Taylor, who has diabetes. Of the three, whom would a nephrologist treat?

Trick question! It's all three.

A nephrologist can treat a wide variety of problems related to the kidneys, like kidney stones. But they also treat problems that sick kidneys may cause, such as high blood pressure, as well as problems that can cause kidney disease, like diabetes. So, they don't just focus on the kidneys alone, but on how the kidneys interact with the whole body to contribute to disease or be affected by disease.


While the nephrologist focuses on the kidneys and how they interact with the body, a urologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the genitourinary tract in males and urinary tract in females. This word comes from 'ur-,' which means, easily enough, urine or urinary tract. Genitourinary comes from 'genito-,' which relates to organs of reproduction, and urinary, which implies the urinary system.

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