Vasectomy Training For Family Medicine Doctors After Residency
October 10, 2022
After residency training there are few, if any, opportunities for vasectomy training for Family Medicine doctors.
In fact, there is almost no formal vasectomy training or vasectomy continuing medical education programs. There are few opportunities to learn vasectomy other than finding a trusted mentor to teach you the procedure.
This is a big problem when trying to increase the number of vasectomy doctors. This is a big problem when it comes to making vasectomy more accessible for men.
Vasectomy is a simple, preventative office health care procedure.
In many countries vasectomy procedures are offered by primary care providers. Most vasectomy procedures in the United States are performed by Urologist. This is unfortunate because relying on specialist to provide preventative services often has a negative effect on increasing accessibility to preventative services.
What if only Cardiologist could test cholesterol or prescribe cholesterol lowering medications? What if only Infectious Disease specialist could give vaccines? What if only oral surgeons could do teeth cleanings and fillings?
Dr. Monteith is an Ob/Gyn who offers minimally invasive vasectomy in Raleigh, North Carolina. Starting in 2022, he began offering vasectomy training for Family Medicine, primary care, or specialist doctors who may be interested in learning how to do vasectomy.
Vasectomy access in the United States: 3 big barriers
Most people may be surprised to realize there are three major barriers in the United States to getting a vasectomy: limited number of vasectomy providers, costs, and fears.
Vasectomy providers. Most vasectomy procedures in the United States are provided by Urologic specialist.
The name ‘specialist’ by its very definition means “a person who concentrates primarily on a particular subject or activity; a person highly skilled in a specific and restricted field. The key word is ‘restricted’.
Urologists are specialist with demanding schedules. These doctors are often focused on the surgical treatment of cancer, kidney disease, and prostate disease. Their time is often split between the hospital, operating room, emergency room, and the office. In the big scheme of things, vasectomy procedures (simple procedures done on patients who are not having urgent symptoms) sometimes don’t get the attention they deserve.
You may be surprised to know that even Urology residents who receive formal vasectomy training have reservations about offering office based vasectomy.
A 2021 national survey on urology resident vasectomy training discovered urology “residents are significantly less comfortable performing vasectomy in the office setting versus in the operating room, including in their graduating year. Residents describe low volume and lack of autonomy as barriers to vasectomy training.”
So….if these residents receive formal training in vasectomy but graduate from their programs with reservations on performing office based vasectomy what do you think their attitudes are towards vasectomy when they are responsible for performing the procedure? Where do you think they perform the procedures if they are uncomfortable?
Does performing vasectomy in the operating room make vasectomy more affordable or accessible?
In countries with centralized health care, primary care doctors perform most of the vasectomies. If they think a patient is at higher risk for having a vasectomy complication, these primary care doctors refer these patients to urologic specialist to have their vasectomy completed.
For a simple primary care procedure, this management approach makes a lot of sense.
Vasectomy Cost. The cost of a vasectomy in the United States ranges from $500 to $5,000. If the procedure is done in an operating room under sedation or general anesthesia the costs tend to be on the higher end.
When specialist perform procedures the costs tend to be higher. If a specialist routinely performs the procedure in an operating room the cost for vasectomy will definitely be higher.
You may think most men have health insurance so the cost of a vasectomy is less of a concern. Wrong.
Many men, despite the Affordable Care Act, dont have health insurance. Many of those with health insurance have high deductible plans and will be responsible for the cost of most of their care. It has been estimated that 10% to 15% of health care insurance plans do not offer vasectomy coverage. Many of these men will have to pay out of pocket.
Fear. Men are naturally fearful of vasectomy. The only thing they can remotely compare with is the pain of getting kicked in the nuts. The idea of sharp things and needles going into their scrotum does not help calm these fears.
Men do not regularly visit the doctor when compared to women. With men there tends to be a naturally increased fear of going to the doctor…so having to go to a doctor for a vasectomy can be a scary event.
So when you combine the natural fear men have of going to the doctor, the cost of getting a vasectomy, multiple appointments, and having to wait an extended time to see a specialist you can easily understand why men may not readily have a vasectomy.
Vasectomy access is a problem…but so is cost and natural fear of the procedure.
Vasectomy training for Family Medicine Doctors
More primary care doctors should be providing vasectomy.
The problem is most primary doctors in the United States get very little exposure to vasectomy training during residency. After residence there are even less opportunities to get training in providing vasectomy.
Most Family Medicine training programs offer no formal vasectomy training.
Those that do offer some limited vasectomy training for family medicine doctors. Their residents get to rotate through Urology departments and do a couple of vasectomies in the course of several weeks. Technically these doctors can say they have done vasectomy procedures… but do they really feel comfortable and proficient offering vasectomy once they complete their training.
Vasectomy Training with Dr Monteith
Dr. Monteith is offering vasectomy training for primary doctors who want to provide more vasectomies.
Dr. Monteith is specifically looking for motivated physicians who want to provide high quality, high volume vasectomy procedures.
What is a high quality vasectomy procedure? A high quality vasectomy is a minimally invasive no needle, no scalpel vasectomy done in a way that has the absolute lowest rate of failure. A high quality vasectomy is also a procedure provided with minimal barriers to access for patients.
What is high volume vasectomy? High volume vasectomy is about 10 to 20 vasectomy procedures per week. It means dedicating 1 to 3 days per week dedicated to providing vasectomy procedures.
More information: No Scalpel Vasectomy Training With Dr Monteith
The are advantages to developing a vasectomy based practice: better income, more career satisfaction, and increasing access to vasectomy for the general population.