Current State of the Workforce in Nephrology

  • Eleanor Lederer
    Address correspondence to Eleanor Lederer, MD, University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Mail Code 8856, Dallas, TX 75390.
    Medical Service, Dallas North Texas VA, Dallas, TX

    Department of Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine, Dallas, TX
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  • Jonathan Lebowitz
    Department of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ
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      The number of individuals with CKD and end-stage kidney disease continues to rise as the interest in nephrology as a career choice is declining among internal medicine residents. Simultaneously, the emergence of integrated healthcare delivery models encompassing multiple levels of nonphysician healthcare workers plus advanced technological capabilities offer innovative mechanisms for the delivery of optimal care for patients at risk for and suffering from CKD. Critical to the success of these models is the identification of aspects of nephrology care specific to and appropriate for each type of kidney care professional and the development of organizational structures that both define and facilitate the flow of patient care. However, several factors in addition to the declining interest in nephrology pose significant obstacles to the development of the optimal nephrology work force including gender imbalance in leadership and nonleadership positions, gender disparity in compensation, inadequate diversity in ethnicity of nephrologists, and perceptions of inadequate compensation and a poor work life balance. Recent studies suggest that some, but not all, of these challenges are being addressed, though full resolution will require creative and concerted efforts.

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