Results from the RFN poll (73 total)- 58% of all respondents to our poll thought that the ability to make challenging diagnoses was an important factor in making this decision. I was surprised to see that this was just as important as having an influential mentor (46% during residency and 12% during medical school). 47% of respondents felt that the mix of inpatient and outpatient care was important. As medical care becomes increasingly fragmented (i.e. hospitalist strictly stay in the hospital and family medicine/general internal medicine are increasingly restricted to the outpatient setting) nephrology remains one of the few internal medicine specialties with such a profound dual role. 31% of respondents felt that the ability to establish a long term relationship with a patient was important decision maker. ICU and kidney transplant exposure came in at 26% and 16% respectively. Interestingly, only 16% felt that nephrology being a financially rewarding career was important. I wonder what the results of GI or cardiology poll would look like? The future of nephrology is in our hands. Recruiting interested medicine residents in extremely important to ensure that our field continues to thrive. The field of nephrology has many interesting facets that are unique. I welcome any comments about the poll or if anyone has other reasons they chose nephrology please let us know.
It appears that most people decide to specialize in nephrology because it is challenging, offers an exposure to a wide array of patients (i.e. ICU vs. inpatient vs. transplant vs. outpatient) and they were significantly influenced by a mentor.