Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Brain Drain" in nephrology

A series of articles in ASN Kidney News and CJASN recently have highlighted the fact that Nephrology is having a brain drain and loss of interest in application to this field. As a results ASN has created a task force to create more people going into Nephrology.  To me - don't know why people choose what they choose but to all those undecided medical students out there and residents:- 
Renal Medicine is the BEST!! 
It has everything you want in it:

1. Excitement:- acute issues to combat like Hyperkalemia, acid base, HTN crisis and Acute Rejection and saving the graft.
2. Novelty:- Transplant Immunology is growing rapidly and new agents are coming to the surface to make the field more and more exciting. The fact that dialysis will soon be a device that can be carried around - future might be here. Organs being developed and created via stem cells- can't get better than that! 
3. Variety:- From Glomerular diseases that remain mysteries to all to the facets of dialysis. From acid base to hypertension management. From a simple Acute renal injury to a complex rapidly progressing vasculitis
4. Future:- Interventional Nephrology, Geriatric Nephrology, Onco-Nephrology and upcoming special fields one can master in this exciting field
5. Mind boggling:- Always makes you think! The "thinkers" as the other docs call us. Even "Dr.House MD" is marketed as a Nephrologist!!!  We make cool diagnosis all the time!!!
6. Empathy:- Dealing with ESRD and transplant, nephrologists are kind hearted and compassionate individuals.  

Medical students and residents:- go for the field of medicine, at least take a rotation and try it out. It will be worth your time. Give The kidney a chance! and it will make a difference in your education and career!

Take a look at recent article from CJASN 2011 May
Image source: Iheartguts.com


  1. Money is the answer and nephrology is not worth either as a lifestyle or for the money.

    But for those who do what they do because this is what they like and enjoy - Once again for my field - nephrology rocks

  2. House is actually double boarded in ID and Nephrology (after completing a residency in Pathology).

    -Michael Katz, Cardiology Fellow at University of Rochester

  3. In Canada, the problem is actually there reverse; the field is extremely well paid and the number interested in the field has exceeded the number of available positions. So if you want to increase interest in the field, the lobbying effort should be directed to increase the fee schedule for nephrology. It worked here. Maybe too well.

    Our applications have now started to drop because of a perception of no job opportunities.

  4. I always think about hows of compensation for any specialty. I understand procedure = more money. But Nephrology, keeping in view the complexity of patients we take care of, is underpaid. There has to be an better and alternative algorithm for compensation for physicians.


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