Enhancing Interest in Nephrology Careers During Medical Residency
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.
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