Current Paradigms and Emerging Opportunities in Nephrology Training

      Nephrology is facing a period of remarkable and unprecedented change. The pipeline of device and therapeutic drug development, the growing success of clinical trials, and the emergence of novel clinical practice and training pathways each hold the promise of transforming patient care. Nephrology is also at the forefront of health policy in the United States, given the recent Advancing American Kidney Health initiative. Despite these developments, significant barriers exist to ensure a robust pipeline of well-qualified nephrologists, including but not limited to trainees’ declining trainee interest in the specialty, lower board pass rates, and a perceived erosion in stature of the subspecialty. There is a lack of consensus among training program directors regarding procedural training requirements, the number of fellowship positions needed, and the value of the match. There is widespread agreement, however, that any initiative to reassert the value of nephrology must include significant focus on reinvigorating the trainee experience before and during fellowship. We discuss the current state of education in nephrology (from medical school to beyond fellowship) and highlight ways to increase interest in nephrology to reinvigorate the specialty.

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