Tips and Tricks for Nephrology Fellows — A Curated List of Fellow-Friendly Resources in the United States
By Pablo Garcia and Yuvaram Reddy
Dear Incoming Nephrology Fellows...
Published with permission from the Kidney News Online in Vol. 13, Issue 5. Publication date: May 1, 2021.
The transition from residency to fellowship is exciting and challenging. You have to adapt to your new role as a consultant, learn new clinical procedures, and be a role model for residents and medical students. As these skills grow during fellowship, you may find yourself wondering: What resources are out there? How do I find these resources? Which of these resources are right for me? We certainly felt that way during our fellowship. To help you navigate this transition, we compiled a list of free (or subsidized) training resources. We hope you find this useful.
This fellow-friendly resource guide focuses on the following areas: nephrology societies, annual general nephrology meetings, short courses and annual subspecialty nephrology meetings, and professional development opportunities (editorial internships, social media collaboratives, and other initiatives; see below for a summary and timeline of key resources). Please note that while we attempted to be as inclusive as possible, it is possible that we may have unintentionally missed some resources. This guide is not meant to be exhaustive. For an updated guide with additional resources, please refer to the Renal Fellow Network (RFN). RFN has a curated list of conferences, internships, and opportunities for additional years of training. If you would like to add a resource to these guides, please contact the RFN editors. Your feedback can ensure that these guides are relevant for future nephrology fellows.
Nephrology societies are a great way to feel connected with the kidney community. They help grow your network of peers, mentors, and (eventually) mentees.
Fortunately, most major societies provide free or subsidized registration for fellows (see Table 1). By joining these societies, you can access major nephrology journals (e.g., JASN,the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, and Kidney International), subsidized registration for national conferences (e.g., Kidney Week and the World Congress of Nephrology), networking opportunities, and training opportunities (such as travel grants, research grants, and educational grants). To benefit from free or subsidized rates, some societies require a letter from your fellowship program director.
- American Society of Nephrology: https://asn-online.org/membership/join.aspx
- International Society of Nephrology: https://www.theisn.org/join-the-isn/become-a-member/
- National Kidney Foundation: https://kidney.org/professionals/physicians/fellows
- Renal Physicians Association: https://www.renalmd.org/general/register_member_type.asp
- Women in Nephrology: https://www.womeninnephrology.org/membership
- American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology: https://www.asdin.org/page/A4
- International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis: https://ispd.org/join/
- American Society of Transplantation: https://www.myast.org/
Nephrology Annual Meetings
Annual meetings help the kidney community gather and discuss new developments in nephrology (e.g., the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week). For trainees, these meetings help hone your poster and oral-presentation skills, connect (or reconnect) you with peers and mentors who share your unique interests, and identify exciting career opportunities (academia, private practice, industry, government, or elsewhere). If you are attending these meetings for the first time, talk to your peers and mentors to plan ahead, and make the best use of your time during these meetings.
Table 2 lists some major nephrology annual meetings to consider attending during your fellowship.
Short Courses and Nephrology Subspecialty Annual Meetings
Separate from general nephrology annual meetings, the kidney community also organizes several short courses and nephrology subspecialty annual meetings. These sessions cover niche topics for targeted audiences (think physician-scientists, business-oriented young leaders, trainees, home dialysis, or transplantation enthusiasts).
If you apply to attend these short courses and are selected to attend, most organizers pay for your travel and lodging. Since these courses last several days to 1 week and are usually in person, you should consider applying to these courses toward the end of your first year of fellowship so that you can attend these courses in your second year of fellowship.
Table 3 lists some short courses and nephrology subspecialty meetings to consider attending before you graduate from fellowship.
- Home Dialysis University: https://ispd.org/
- Home Dialysis Academy of Excellence: https://hdexcellence.org/
- KIDNEYcon: http://kidneycon.org/
- Network of Minority Health Research Investigators Annual Workshop: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/research-funding/research-programs/diversity-programs/network-minority-health-research-investigators-nmri
- Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory Origins of Renal Physiology: https://mdibl.org/course/origins-of-renal-physiology-fellows-2020/
- Nephrology Business Leadership University: https://nbluniv.org/
- Annual Dialysis Conference: https://annualdialysisconference.org/
- American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology Annual Meeting: https://www.asdin.org/
- American Transplant Congress: https://atcmeeting.org/
- Renal Physicians Association Annual Meeting: https://www.renalmd.org/page/calAnnualMeeting
Professional Development Opportunities
Over the past decade, the kidney community has intentionally catalyzed the growth of unique professional development opportunities from editorial internships, positions on national committees, and social media collaboratives. These opportunities foster interest in nephrology and raise awareness about the breadth and depth of nephrology topics in an easy-to-understand, engaging manner. These collaboratives are often topical, timely, and highly engaging. We encourage you to consider participating during any phase of your fellowship.
Table 4 lists some professional development opportunities available for nephrology fellows (and virtually anyone interested in nephrology).
- AJKD editorial internship: https://www.ajkd.org/content/edinternshipprogram
- JASN editorial fellowship: https://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/editorial-fellowship-application-process
- Kidney News: https://www.kidneynews.org/
- Renal Fellow Network editorial position: https://www.renalfellow.org/2020/03/05/wanted-rfn-co-editor-asn-media-communications-committee-member/
- ASN Committees: https://www.asn-online.org/about/committees/
- Nephrology Social Media Collective Internship: https://www.nsmc.blog/
- GlomCon: https://glomcon.org/
- Channel Your Enthusiasm: The Burton Rose Book Club: http://www.rose-book.club/about
- Freely Filtered: A NephJC Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/pod-cast/freely-filtered-a-nephjc-podcast/id1461664501
- Landmark Nephrology: https://landmarknephrology.com/
- LIME: https://www.cardionerds.com/letslime/
- NephJC: http://nephjc.com/
- NephMadness: https://ajkdblog.org/2021/03/01/welcome-to-nephmadness-2021/
- NephroWorldCup: https://twitter.com/hashtag/NephroWorldCup
- NephSIM: https://nephsim.com/
- Renal Fellow Network: https://www.renalfellow.org/
- The Skeleton Key Group: https://www.skeletonkey.group/
In conclusion, there are an enormous number of resources available for nephrology fellows. We hope you leverage this guide to identify targeted resources that uniquely enhance your individual training and professional development. We hope that you use these free or subsidized resources and that you consider giving back to the future of the kidney community through your eventual mentorship, clinical service, teaching, and/or leadership.
Renal Fellow Network Curated Lists
- Renal Fellow Network list of conferences: https://www.renalfellow.org/conferences/
- Renal Fellow Network list of internships: https://www.renalfellow.org/internships/
- Renal Fellow Network nephrology workforce article (Piecing Together the Adult Nephrology Workforce Puzzle): https://www.renalfellow.org/the-nephrology-workforce/