Nephrology elective experience during medical residency: a national survey of US nephrology fellowship training program directors
Interest in nephrology careers continues to decline in the United States. The reasons for this declining interest are not fully understood but it is plausible that inadequate exposure to the full spectrum of what a career in nephrology encompasses may be part of the explanation. Inpatient-based nephrology electives have been a common venue for residents to gain exposure to nephrology but little is known regarding the details of such electives and how often they include outpatient experiences. We carried out a national survey of nephrology fellowship training program directors to obtain data on the content of nephrology elective experiences as well as their ideas on how to promote interest in the field. The survey revealed the majority of elective experiences to be either exclusively or heavily inpatient based, with only a small percentage having a substantial outpatient component, particularly in outpatient dialysis or transplantation. Training program directors felt that providing greater outpatient experiences to residents during elective rotations would be an effective means to promote interest in nephrology, along with structured faculty mentoring. Our findings suggest that current approaches to the nephrology elective experience are heavily inpatient-based and might benefit from incorporating much more of the rich spectrum of activities a career in nephrology entails. Hopefully such efforts can create and enhance interest in careers in nephrology and potentially begin a sustained reversal of an unfortunate and serious decline in interest.
Faculty; Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health