In order to become a Nephrologist it is required that medical students go through medical school and a residency in internal medicine. After which it is required to have a 2 year fellowship in Nephrology. Like most other specialist physicians students will have to be board certified and will also have to have a American Osteopathic Association or the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education 2 year fellowship.
An aside: Student who elect this field have already incurred the cost of medical school and the specialization training will impose an additional cost. While many students go into debt to achieve this goal, we know of several who have financed their education in innovative ways. Jason Wills earned tuition playing poker – he was a finalist in the World Series of Poker while still an undergrad and leveraged his playing skills by playing online. He doesn’t encourage anyone to follow his lead because of the risks involved, but claims that Texas Holdem is a game of skill and once you master that skill you can probably make money most of the time by playing novices. Tracy Ingram financed her education by utilizing her knowledge of movie memorabilia – specifically her expertise in movie posters and lobby cards. “If you can find some good sources of these treasures and can sell antique movie posters to a reliable clientele of collectors, they’ll keep coming back for more! Collectors prize knowledgeable appraisers and will pay top dollar if the posters are rare.” Again, specialized skill sets are required, but these are just a couple of examples of nephrology students finding creative ways to cover the high cost of their education.
During the Nephrology studies students are trained in all fields relating to kidney disease treatment including transplant biopsies, placing dialysis and hem dialysis catheters among many other treatment procedures. Students will also study fields relating to electrolyte physiology, vascular disorders, metabolism and nutrition. The kidneys function of processing our fluids is where many of the diseases stem from and understanding why these diseases happen is just as important as know how to treat them.
Onco-nephrology, a field in which general nephrology and oncology intersect, is an important emerging discipline and one that some Nephrologist who are working in academic medical centers with a strong adjoining cancer hospital or department might consider. Whether one specializes in onco-nephrology or not, it is still important that nephrologists become familiar with the nephrotoxic effects of the most commonly used chemotherapeutic agents, and kidney-related issues in recipients of bone marrow transplants. Some chemotherapeutic agents are more nephrotoxic than others. The very potent nephro-toxins such as cisplatin and high-dose methotrexate, mithramycin, and streptozocin areand can have an acute effects not only on the patient’s renal system but also can impact sensitivity to sunlight, increase the risk of bleeding, diarrhea, and hair loss. Patients who experience symptoms or side effects, can be prescribed medications that are effective in managing such problems. For hair loss, there are a number of alternative hairwear manufacturers including Gabor wigs who specifically design comfortable wig cap constructions for cancer patients.
In addition, kidney disease is linked to other, seemingly unrelated medical issues, like obesity. For example, weight loss doctors often contend with complications arising from less than optimal organ function, and some treatments, like hCG protocols require that injections for weight loss take into consideration the condition of the kidneys. In some cases nephrology can determine the likelihood of success, or whether the patient is even suitable for treatment.
As with all medical fields, the schooling is a long one. Nephrology can be a very beneficial field as kidney disorders and diseases are becoming more common and the need for Nephrologist is out there.
And if you think Nephrology is a boring profession, nothing could be further from the truth. This is a growing field and success within it is bound to generate its own superstars, if not financial reward for those lucky enough to have made the decision early to enter this fascinating field.