Survey Reveals Gaps in Nephrologists' Training


MADISON, Wis.—Two surprising facts were revealed in the largest published survey of U.S. nephrologists regarding care people with kidney failure receive.

If a nephrologists kidneys failed and they were placed on a five year transplant list only 6 percent of those surveyed in the study would choose the standard, in-center hemodialysis treatment for themselves. An in-center hemodialysis treatment requires a patient to attend a dialysis clinic three times a week for 3 to 4 hours a time. Amazingly, 92 percent of U.S. dialysis patients receive this treatment.

Around 28 percent of the time a nephrologists spends his time caring for dialysis patient. Out of those, 38 percent of them do not feel "very well prepared" to care for dialysis patients when taking the nephrology certification exam. Further training after the certification exam is only taken by 16 percent of nephrologists. Those who do feel "well prepared" when they take their exam, or who receive extra training, are much more likely to prescribe home dialysis treatments for their patients.

About the Survey

This national survey of clinical nephrologists was conducted (and funded) by the non-profit Medical Education Institute, Inc. Results were published in Hemodialysis International in December 2011. Insights into nephrologist training, clinical practice, and dialysis choice, by Merighi JR, Schatell DR, Bragg-Gresham JL, Witten B, and Mehrotra R. Full text is available at no charge at

Hemodialysis International is published quarterly by the International Society of Hemodialysis. Christopher Blagg, MD, is editor of the magazine.

About the Medical Education Institute

Founded in 1993, the non-profit Medical Education Institute (MEI) serves the mission of helping people with chronic disease learn to manage and improve their health. To learn more about the MEI and its programs, including Home Dialysis Central (, Kidney School (, Life Options (, and KDQOL COMPLETE (, visit

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