Considering a Career in Pediatric Nephrology?
We are pleased that you are considering a career in Pediatric Nephrology! Pediatric Nephrology is an exciting field, and career opportunities are abundant whether you plan on a career in clinical nephrology, clinical research, basic science investigation, education or any combination of the four. We hope this information will be useful to you in considering if this may be the right subspecialty for you.
Why Should I Consider Pediatric Nephrology?
We could go on and on regarding the components and benefits of a pediatric nephrology career, but the most efficient introduction to the field comes directly from pediatric nephrologists. Watch and listen to what our colleagues have to say about their chosen field in the following videos:
- Rewards of Being a Pediatric Nephrologist -5:16
- "Day to Day" of Being a Pediatric Nephrologist -4:40
- Misconceptions of Pediatric Nephrology -3:46
- Career Options in Pediatric Nephrology -3:11
- Qualities of a Pediatric Nephrologist -2:23
- Research Options in Pediatric Nephrology -4:10
- Success Stories in Pediatric Nephrology -4:35
Pediatric nephrology offers the opportunity to care for children with a wide range of disorders and includes a unique mix of acute intensive inpatient and chronic longitudinal outpatient care. With the opportunity to perform kidney biopsies and provide acute renal replacement therapies, the subspecialty appeals to those who are "procedure oriented" without the life-style sacrifices often required in procedure-dominated subspecialties. Opportunities in both basic and clinical research are limitless. As a relatively small subspecialty, there is a real spirit of collegiality and fellowship among the practitioners in our discipline.
How Can I Get More Information and Talk To Pediatric Nephrologists in Person?
The ASPN sponsors residents to attend the Pediatric Academic Societies/American Society of Pediatric Nephrology Annual Meeting in the spring of each year -medical student and resident trainees are most welcome at these meetings as they explore future career options, with no pressure or obligation. Consider applying for a travel grant to attend a meeting today!
What Does a Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship Entail?
Training consists of a three year fellowship following completion of a pediatric residency or equivalent international training in pediatrics.
Your fellowship training will prepare you for clinical activities, research opportunities, teaching responsibilities and administrative roles. During three years of pediatric nephrology fellowship training you will be provided a variety of clinical training experiences, including care of patients with:
- Acute and chronic kidney disorders
- Fluid and electrolyte and acid base disorders
- Acute and chronic kidney failure
- Kidney transplantation
- Perinatal and neonatal conditions, including congenital anomalies of the kidneys and urinary tract
- Inherited kidney disorders including genetic syndromes
You will develop competence in skills such as kidney biopsy; initiation of hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and continuous renal replacement therapies; interpretation of renal biopsies; and interpretation of renal imaging procedures.
You will also receive training in research design and evaluation. Laboratory and clinical research techniques and skills essential for your scholarly activity and career development will be acquired. Complementary topics such as biostatistics, epidemiology, ethics, economics and quality improvement will be incorporated into your education. You will develop competency in all of the skills necessary to become an effective pediatric nephrologist.
A complete list of accredited pediatric fellowship training programs and the program requirements for fellowship education in pediatric nephrology can be found at the ACGME website (www.acgme.org)
Is There a Need for Pediatric Nephrologists?
(i.e., Will I Have a Job When I Finish My Fellowship?)
Presently, there are ample opportunities for graduates of pediatric nephrology fellowships in North America. As of 2015 there were 896 American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) board certified pediatric nephrologists in the United Stated with average age 57.7 years and 43.5% 61 years of age or older. (https://www.abp.org/sites/abp/files/pdf/workforcebook.pdf)
In a recent survey study commissioned by the ABP, one-third of U.S. pediatric nephrologists plan to reduce or stop clinical practice in the next five years, and 53% plan to fully or partially retire. Almost half of division chiefs report inadequate staffing, and there is an increasing number of children with chronic kidney conditions. (Primack WA et al. The US Pediatric Nephrology Workforce: A Report Commissioned by the American Academy of Pediatrics. American Journal of Kidney Diseases 2015;66(1):33-39) There is a demand for trained pediatric nephrologists.
The ASPN Workforce and Training Program Directors Committees are actively engaged in mentoring fellows nearing the end of their training program in the process of locating pediatric nephrology jobs, and conducts regular mentoring programs in job search strategies at our twice-yearly scientific and professional meetings.
How Do I Apply for a Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship?
Many pediatric and medicine-pediatric residents begin to consider a career in pediatric nephrology early during residency training. There are several useful sources for information about specific pediatric nephrology fellowship training programs including:
- Pediatric nephrologists in your pediatric program
- Pediatric Subspecialty Descriptions on CoPs http://www.pedsubs.org/SubDes/Nephrology.cfm
- Pediatric nephrology fellowship program directors at your institution
Application process: The Electronic Application Residency Service (ERAS) is the accepted system for application to pediatric nephrology fellowship programs (https://www.aamc.org/students/residents/)
Pediatric Nephrology utilizes the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) (www.nrmp.org) for fellowship selection and matching and is now part of the Pediatric Specialties Fall Match. The time line for the pediatric nephrology fellowship match is listed below.
Match Opens: September 25, 2019
Ranking Opens: October 30, 2019
Quota Change Deadline: November 20, 2019
Rank Order List Certification Deadline: December 4, 2019
Match Day: December 18, 2019
More information about the pediatric nephrology match is available in this website in the Fellowship Program Directors page.
Joint Medicine-Pediatric Nephrology training programs: A limited number of academic centers offer these to allow graduates of medicine-pediatric training programs to become board eligible for adult and pediatric nephrology. It is best to contact the programs directly to clarify the application process. There is no formal certification for combined Med-Peds Nephrology programs. The programs (Internal Medicine Nephrology and Pediatric Nephrology) need to submit an individualized training program to the respective boards for each proposed combined trainee (typically covering 4 years).
The Role of ASPN in Pediatric Nephrology
The American Society of Pediatric Nephrology is a vibrant and active organization of pediatric nephrologists and affiliated health care professionals. The primary goals are of the ASPN are to promote optimal care for children with kidney disease through advocacy, education and research; and to disseminate advances in clinical practice and scientific investigation. The ASPN provides support to promote better care of children with kidney diseases (Clinical Affairs Committee), advocacy for quality care of children with kidney diseases (Advocacy Committee), improved research for pediatric kidney disorders (Research Committee), efforts to improve training and maintenance of certification for pediatric nephrologists in the US (Training and Certification Committee) and activities designed to augment the workforce of pediatric nephrologists in the US (Workforce Committee). There are special Sub-Committees devoted to Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship Program Directors (Training Program Directors Sub-Committee) and to Pediatric Nephrology Fellows (pFeNa group). ASPN welcomes participation of members at all levels of experience in our various committees and activities.
The ASPN Workforce Committee
Revised June 2016