This month’s eJournal Club article is not a traditional, clinical or basic research article but instead one which looks into the state of nephrology training in the US. There has been a significant decline in the number of residents applying for nephrology fellowships over the last 10 years and this has naturally caused some concern for the powers that be. More than half of nephrology trainees are now foreign medical graduates (including yours truly) and a committee has been set up by the ASN to explore means of increasing interest in nephrology careers among trainees and medical students. This article reports the results of a survey of nephrology fellows that was completed over the last 2 years.
The article highlights the importance of early mentoring in the decision to pursue a nephrology career. The second most important factor was interest in nephrology as a subject. I sometimes feel that the way that nephrology is presented to students means that they feel that it is too complicated and difficult and it puts them off. It is important for us to highlight the diversity of opportunities that are available in nephrology.
One good thing to mention is that most fellows who were surveyed were happy with their career choice. Only 7.5% of people for whom nephrology was their first choice regretted their decision. The number was higher for those for whom it was a second choice. Hopefully, the results of this survey will be utilized to try and identify areas to focus on to increase interest in nephrology again. We have a great specialty and we should let people know!
The discussion continues at CJASN.