Saturday, September 11, 2010

Interventional nephrology in fellowship training

Interventional nephrology is quickly becoming a sought after "subspecialty" of nephrology. However, many training programs do not offer a structured training program (as highlighted in this recent AJKD paper). Traditionally nephrology training is spent rounding in the hospital, clinic or the outpatient dialysis unit. Procedures, like temporary catheters, biopsies etc. are typically performed throughout these rotations. Little time during training is devoted to assessing malfunctioning fistula, grafts or placing tunneled dialysis catheters. As the job market for nephrology continues to be challenging (highlighted by the recent RBT article) having the necessary certification in interventional nephrology can be a valuable asset when applying for jobs. RFN wanted to know how much exposure nephrology fellows currently have in interventional nephrology?

Of the 73 respondents to our poll

  • 52% stated that they had hardly any exposure. I'm not terribly surprised by this. Only 11 programs around the country have American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology (ASDIN) accreditation. Only 3 of these are affiliated with University based programs. However, several programs offer training that are currently not accredited by the ASDIN.
  • 23% of respondents felt that they just had an introduction to interventional nephrology.
  • Only 23% indicated that they either had a fair amount (17%) or more than enough (6%) exposure to this growing field.
It is clear that finding a program with an adequate amount of exposure to interventional nephrology is difficult.  I will be interested to see how nephrology programs adapt and expand their current training programs to meet the needs of future nephrology fellows. For more information on how to obtain certification visit the ASDIN website ( Let us know how your program is offering interventional nephrology training.

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