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Nephrology Education in Private Practice: My Perspective

      I have been in a small private nephrology practice in Southwestern Michigan for the past 15 years. My community hospital started an internal medicine residency program about 10 years ago. My 2 partners and I serve as the entire nephrology faculty for the program. The work is largely uncompensated, since the hospital updated their bylaws requiring resident teaching as a condition for hospital privileges. Nevertheless, I have come to view resident education as a pleasure, an opportunity to continually update my own knowledge base, and a way to position my practice for future growth. Additionally, our program has had great success in mentoring residents into careers as nephrologists. We have been able to do this, while working as full-time clinical nephrologists, by using educational materials created and made available online by volunteers. Other nephrologists who teach residents may wish to make use of these resources to enhance their own teaching. Given the number of nephrology fellowship spots that go unfilled each year, it would be a wise investment for the nephrology community as a whole to support the teaching efforts of faculty in community-based programs.
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