Enhancing Interest in Nephrology Careers During Medical Residency
ABSTRACT Promoting interest in nephrology as a career is vital to sustain a workforce adequate to meet the projected demand for nephrologists. The educational experiences that internal medicine residents have may play an important role in influencing such choices, and attempts to enrich such experiences could prove a useful strategy to help facilitate interest in careers in nephrology. Like many electives, nephrology rotations typically consist of activities heavily weighted toward inpatient care. This type of elective is unlikely to provide a representative exposure to the breadth of nephrologists' roles and may lack sufficient mentoring opportunities. We describe an innovative design for a nephrology elective that provides residents with educational experiences in both inpatient and outpatient venues and exposure to faculty with diverse interests and areas of expertise. Our experience with this elective in comparison to a traditional inpatient-based elective suggests that the combined elective format is perceived favorably by medical residents and provides them with a better educational experience, more representative exposure to nephrology, positive mentoring experiences, and the potential for greater interest in pursuing nephrology as a career. Our findings offer the possibility that interventions at the level of medical resident education might be a means to help promote interest in careers in nephrology.
- SourceAvailable from: Hitesh H. Shah[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Although many anticipate that there will be an eventual shortage of practicing nephrologists, a complete understanding is lacking regarding the current factors that lead US adult nephrology fellows to choose nephrology as a career and their satisfaction with this choice. It is of great concern that interest in obtaining nephrology fellowship training continues to decline in the United States, especially among US medical graduates, and the reasons for this are unclear. The exposure that students and residents have to nephrology is likely to play an important role in the career choices that they make and their ultimate satisfaction with this career choice is likely influenced by several factors, including job opportunities. Some of the findings presented here suggest that there may be a high percentage of nephrology fellows who are dissatisfied with their career choice. Failure to understand the factors that influence trainees to choose nephrology as a career and those that affect their satisfaction with this choice may impair the ability to graduate a sufficient number of nephrologists to meet projected demand. In this article, a number of variables related to the choice of nephrology as a career and satisfaction with a career in nephrology are discussed. Some steps that the nephrology training community might take to help promote interest in nephrology and optimize the satisfaction that nephrology graduates derive from their careers are also proposed.Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 06/2012; 7(9):1513-20. DOI:10.2215/CJN.01620212 · 5.25 Impact Factor
- Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 08/2012; 7(9):1382-4. DOI:10.2215/CJN.07600712 · 5.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: There is a projected shortage of kidney specialists, and retention of trainees in nephrology is important. Determining factors that result in choosing a nephrology career could inform future strategies to attract nephrology fellows. DESIGN, SETTINGS, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: An anonymous, internet-based survey was sent to members of the American Society of Nephrology in June 2009. Respondents answered questions about demographics, training background, and career choices. RESULTS: Of the 3399 members, 913 (23%) returned the survey. Mean age was 51.1±10.5 years, and 46.1% were academic nephrologists. In addition, 38.4% of respondents graduated between 2000 and 2009. Interest in nephrology began early in training, with the intellectual aspects of nephrology, early mentoring, and participation in nephrology electives named as the most common reasons in choosing nephrology. Academic nephrologists were more likely to have participated in research in medical school, have a master's degree or PhD, and successfully obtained research funding during training. Academic debt was higher among nonacademic nephrologists. Research opportunities and intellectual stimulation were the main factors for academic nephrologists when choosing their first postfellowship positions, whereas geographic location and work-life balance were foremost for nonacademic nephrologists. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the importance of exposing medical students and residents to nephrology early in their careers through involvement in research, electives, and positive mentoring. Further work is needed to develop and implement effective strategies, including increasing early exposure to nephrology in preclinical and clinical years, as well as encouraging participation in research, in order to attract future nephrology trainees.Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 09/2012; 7(11). DOI:10.2215/CJN.03250312 · 5.25 Impact Factor