Department of Pediatrics - Nephrology Fellowship

Curriculum

The Nephrology Fellowship Program combines clinical and research training designed so that each year offers a progressive development of knowledge, skills and independence.

Year 1

CheckupClinical

  • The first year of training provides a concentrated clinical experience. On the inpatient service, fellows have the opportunity to care for patients on the Pediatric Nephrology service and perform consults followed by the service. This provides extensive experience evaluating and managing patients with acute renal conditions.
  • First year fellows attend two clinics per week, providing them with comprehensive training in the outpatient diagnosis and management of kidney disease. Each fellow has their own continuity clinic allowing them to follow patients longitudinally for all three years of training. In addition, fellows see patients in various outpatient clinics giving them the opportunity to participate in the Hypertension and Lipids Clinic and providing exposure to a wide variety of attending styles.
  • By the end of their first year, fellows are proficient in evaluating and managing children and adolescents with kidney disease in inpatient and outpatient settings, performing percutaneous kidney biopsies, prescribing dialysis and continuous veno-venous hemofiltration, and evaluating and managing kidney transplant patients.

Research

  • During the first year of training, fellows have two months of protected time for research. This dedicated time is imperative to accommodate the heavy clinical focus in Year 1; it provides time to become familiar with the variety of opportunities for bench and clinical research available within the division, the department, and the medical center.
  • The Department of Pediatrics provides multiple resources to help first year fellows identify a research topic that aligns with their career interests. Guided by the program director, fellows may consult with the division chief, the associate chair of academic affairs, and the department chair of Pediatrics to identify a topic and a primary research mentor. Each fellow then formulates a research question, reviews background literature, develops a research proposal, and identifies members of their Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC), a committee which provides research and career guidance throughout the three years.
  • During training, educational activities and department conferences, and meetings are attended to enhance the clinical and research experience.  Fellows also have the opportunity to enroll in a master’s degree program.

Years 2 & 3

Clinical

  • During years 2 and 3 of training, fellows are given progressive authority in clinical activities as they acquire more expertise treating patients with acute and chronic kidney conditions. Inpatient duties (including consults) are reduced to every fourth overnight and weekend call to maintain and strengthen patient management skills developed in year one. 
  • Fellows continue to spend one half day per week in their continuity clinic exposing them to the progression of renal disease and assuring continuity of care for patients. Whenever possible, patients seen on the inpatient service are followed in the fellow’s continuity clinic. An elective rotation with the urology team leads to a better understanding of the outpatient urologic management of common kidney conditions.
  • Near the end of the third year of training, each fellow completes an acting attending rotation where they manage the inpatient service under the guidance of an attending. This experience provides “real life” insight into the role of an attending physician and instills confidence to practice independently.

Research

  • Second and third year fellows spend the majority of time in research endeavors, gaining extensive experience in basic or clinical science research with the guidance of their primary mentor. Fellows meet formally with their Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) at least twice a year to review their progress, solicit feedback, and identify potential funding sources and collaborations that may benefit the project.
  • Trainees submit their research in an effort to present at national meetings and publish in peer-reviewed journals. Third year fellows have the opportunity to present their research at Pediatric Grand Rounds.
  • By the end of the third year of training, a major research project will be complete; this scholarly work product is required by the American Board of Pediatrics to sit for the subspecialty board exam. Fellows pursuing an advanced degree continue classes during the second and third year. With careful planning, their scholarly work product can serve as their master’s thesis.