Advocacy | Dialysis | Kidney disease | Transplant

Shaping the Future of Nephrology Education and Research

June 14, 2023, 8:26am EDT

Person in a lab coat holding a pipette

The National Kidney Foundation values the opportunity to advocate for continued educational opportunities for future nephrology leaders, including clinical and postdoctoral research nephrology fellows. To achieve this goal, our Voices for Kidney Health advocates submitted comments to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Nephrology Board on the expansion of competency standards and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on training and career progression.

Enhance Clinical Competencies

NKF joined national kidney community stakeholders in a call-to-action to ensure competency-based nephrology education is enhanced, emphasizes personalized care, and closes gaps in current nephrology training. 
NKF supports increased training in the following areas:

  • Acute hemodialysis
  • Chronic hemodialysis
  • Home hemodialysis
  • Continuous kidney replacement therapy (CKRT)
  • Peritoneal dialysis (excluding placement of temporary peritoneal catheters)

These skills are necessary to ensure fellowship trainees understand the full range of therapies available to patients and their caregivers. With this knowledge, the next generation of nephrologists will be better equipped to address existing disparities in the use of home therapies.

Tell Congress to expand access to home dialysis for kidney patients nationwide.

Opportunities for additional training regarding the care of transplant recipients and donors also remain top of mind. The long-term care of transplant recipients and donors is complicated by increasing patient volumes and staffing shortages. Specialized knowledge in immunosuppression medications, organ rejection and failure, recurring kidney diseases, and opportunistic infections are key to successful case management by general nephrologists.

Are you a kidney care professional? Become an NKF member to find the education, tools, and resources you need to improve your practice, and stay updated on the latest in clinical research.

Expand Training and Career Progression within the Biomedical Research Enterprise

Postdoctoral fellowships provide an opportunity for early-career research professionals to receive key mentoring from established leaders and investigators within their chosen field. However, scientific research within the field of nephrology still lags behind other specialties. Additional preclinical science is needed to advance kidney disease care within the United States. Increased support within kidney disease research and more innovations will lead to innovations within the identification of kidney disease and personalized medicine. More funding is needed, however, to support the recruitment and retention of nephrology postdoctoral fellows. In addition to increased funding, NKF is advocating for pipelines to ensure a diverse workforce that is reflective of the current kidney patient population. 

Your Voice Makes All the Difference

Shaping the future for kidney health requires funding to ensure that research and innovation keeps pace with kidney disease. By taking action with us, we have a chance to create a positive change in the lives of numerous kidney patients, while simultaneously working towards reducing Medicare expenses. By increasing the number of patients who undergo screenings, receive timely diagnosis, and are placed on treatment plans prior to reaching the costly stage of kidney failure, we can make a significant difference.

Help us do something about it by telling your federal lawmaker to support our funding efforts now.

Join Our Efforts 

Join our network of advocates to make a difference for kidney patients. You can influence public policy relating to kidney health, organ donation, and transplantation through simple activities like emailing, calling or tweeting your legislators. Sign up to become a Voices for Kidney Health Advocate here

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