A physician in the field of genito-urinary medicine is a specialist who is predominantly concerned with the treatment of sexually transmitted infections. This is a specialist area that not only aims to treat conditions transmitted through sex, such as HIV and chlamydia, but also to help people have safer sex in the first place, through the use of contraception and promoting healthy sex. There is also an inclination toward helping people who are suffering from sexual dysfunction, including such conditions as difficulty ejaculating and vaginismus.

This is a specialist area that caters for all ages and members of society, though there is often a clientele of young adults. Most STIs can be treated through simple methods. For example, chlamydia, a bacterial infection that can cause difficulty urinating, can be treated through simple antibiotics. HIV, a disease of which there is no cure, is one area that is of particular interest to physicians in the area of genito-urinary medicine, and one they will spend much time working on.

Work activities

  • Perform health screenings, which will involve taking blood and other methods of testing, to discover whether a patient does have a sexually transmitted infection.
  • Recommend the most suitable treatment for the infection the patient is suffering from.
  • Be supportive of patients, particularly when they are suffering from infections such as HIV that are untreatable.
  • Help patients to understand the risks of having unprotected sex.
  • Prescribe medication for infections.
  • Be discreet of every patient’s condition.
  • Work alongside many other medical professionals and specialists.
  • Work in hospitals or medical clinics.
  • Ensure sexually transmitted infections are treated as soon as possible as some can lead to further complications.
  • Deal with acute and medical cases.
  • Diagnose and treat conditions such as thrush, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhoea and chlamydia.

Essential skills

  • Critical analytical skills.
  • Structured and proficient manner.
  • Friendly and comforting approach when dealing with sensitive issues.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Real desire to help people combat their conditions or to manage them.
  • Good people skills.
  • Able to work as part of a medical team and as an individual.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • A thorough knowledge of the medical discipline.
  • Able to build up a good level of trust with patients as you will often deal with sensitive topics, of which they may not want others to know.