Doctor holding kidney model on desk


The Differences Between a Urologist and Nephrologist

Choosing between a nephrologist and a urologist can sometimes be confusing, given the interconnected nature of kidney, bladder, and urinary tract health. However, understanding their respective specialties can help you make an informed decision about which medical professional is right for you. While there is some overlap between nephrology and urology, particularly regarding kidney-related conditions, there are distinct differences in their areas of expertise. Some medical practices may have nephrologists and urologists working together to provide comprehensive care for patients with complex kidney and urinary tract issues. Ultimately, the primary difference lies in the focus of each specialty: nephrologists concentrate on kidney-related conditions. At the same time, urologists address a broader range of urinary tract and male reproductive system disorders. Depending on your specific health concerns, consulting with the appropriate specialist ensures you receive the most effective and tailored treatment.

Doctor holding kidney model on desk

How to Know Which is Right for You: Nephrologist or Urologist

If you have any issues related to your kidneys or kidney function, a nephrologist is the specialist you need. They are trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent various kidney conditions, including chronic kidney disease, hypertension, diabetes-related kidney issues, and inflammation.

If you're dealing with conditions affecting the urinary tract beyond the kidneys, such as bladder problems, urinary incontinence, or male reproductive system issues like erectile dysfunction or male infertility, a urologist is the appropriate specialist to consult. Additional differences between nephrology and urology are:


  • Nephrologists specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases related explicitly to the kidneys and urinary system.
  • Nephrologists manage conditions such as chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, and kidney failure, along with addressing complications from other diseases affecting kidney function.
  • Services provided include kidney transplants and various dialysis treatments.


  • Urologists focus on diagnosing, treating, and managing diseases and disorders of the entire urinary tract, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra, as well as male reproductive organs.
  • They handle conditions like urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, and male reproductive health issues such as erectile dysfunction and male infertility.
  • Urologists often specialize in surgical procedures related to the urinary tract and male reproductive system.

Schedule an Appointment with a Nephrologist in the Milwaukee, WI Area

At Midwest Nephrology, we are committed to providing individualized care and guidance to our patients, providing the best possible care for each kidney condition. Being one of Wisconsin’s longest-operating and largest nephrology groups, you can easily find a Midwest Nephrology location at with a team of providers ready to assist you in diagnosing and treating your kidney concerns. Contact Midwest Nephrology Associates for more information or to schedule a consultation.

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