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A Survival Guide for New Nephrology Fellows: Part 1


So, you’re a new nephrology fellow!??!!!Congratulations and welcome to this noble and terribly cerebral and exciting specialty in medicine!

However, it is your first night on call, the attending already left for the day…your heart is pounding, and your palms are sweaty as you stare at your phone and your pager…you’re thinking I’ve got this but simultaneously it dawns in you that it is your first day and you really don’t know much….

Now as a great, well published nephrologist once said: a lifetime is not sufficient to learn all of nephrology and I concur. So, the aim of this blog is to keep it short and sweet for your first emergency call and for taking on this new life: only to keep your patients on the safe path to good care and recovery and to keep you well and to keep you successful, head above water included 😊.

Conditions for use: now this is a blog, not a book and is by no means exhaustive of all you need to know in nephrology, in reading this you agree to indemnify its author and I implore you to always consult your supervising Attending Nephrologist and check with institutional practices for the management of your patients.

You’ll see occasional case scenarios: they are fictitious and are suggestions that will help to familiarize you with the standard of care: eventually the hope is that with practice and experience you will become comfortable and will ditch this walker and take your steps all on your own!

I acknowledge that we all needed to learn, and this is just an attempt to help you dear reader with your learning process.

First up: I kid you not: GO buy this book:


And as the name suggests: keep it in ur pocket yo! In the days of MDRO’s, COVID-19 with its multiple variants, monkeypox, the new resurgence of Poliovirus (for those in New York: 5 counties and counting), it is a good idea to have the kindle version on your phone! It’s a great teacher, concise and very up to date! #great patient outcomes!

Oh, and remember to check out your local and national news because very many factors that affect our practice as nephrologists (and lives) may be gleaned from the news!

For example:

Very Important: Remember the value of Urine Microscopy

  • Collect the urine and Spin it! Urine Microscopy is an inexpensive, helpful, stimulating way to help increase your knowledge AND improve patient outcomes!
  • Do absolutely get on twitter and follow the Legend @VelezNephHepato (Dr Juan Carlos Q Velez, Academic Nephrologist, at Ochsner in LA): his lessons are priceless! Check out and follow another stellar teacher also: The Great @jrseltzer (Dr Jay Seltzer: Chief of Nephrology at Missouri Baptist Medical Center)
  • If you fall in love with urine microscopy like I did: consider investing in a copy of The Color Atlas of the Urinary Sediment!
The Trusty Glomerulus, Know it, Live it, Breathe it!

Other great essential reads: