Kidney Week 2012: Career Choices in Nephrology

Mark Rosenberg, MD

1. Over the years, academic faculty in nephrology has been decreasing in the US (by 5%) while the International Medical School graduated Faculty is fairly stable. This might be a phenotype that is at some risk of being lost.

2. US Department of Health and Human Services: Fellowship and training grants start with T and F grants that are T32 and F32. In order to transfer to junior faculty level and maintain “protected” research time, K08 (basic science), K23 (clinical investigation) and K 12 (institution career developmental grants) grants are sought after. Faculty investigators usually need a “K to R” transition in order to become an independent investigator.

3. The three most important benchmarks that impact the career development of a physician scientist:

  1. Publications in high impact journals,
  2. Senior author publications, and
  3. Publications without mentor co-author  (Shea et al Am J of Medicine)

Mentorship and the drive for doing the research markedly affected achievement of these benchmarks.

4. Advice for clinicians entering the work force:

  1.  A part-time career in academic internal medicine has been explored and should be advocated in some cases.
  2. For private practice, explore and start looking early—end of first year of fellowship, geography is important , talk to the most recent hires, talk to the most recently left, engage your faculty mentors in this search, look at multiple places and negotiate well.

5. Transition into a leadership position is good but also has risks. The average tenure of a medical school dean is 3.85 years, and an internal medicine chair is 4 years (Ringenbach & Ibrahimemail Am J of Medicine).

Post written by Dr. Kenar Jhaveri, eAJKD Blog Editor, and edited by Dr. Kellie Calderon, eAJKD Advisory Board member.

Check back for more eAJKD coverage of ASN’s Kidney Week 2012! Also, check out @eAJKD on Twitter for live updates!

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