Welcome to #NephMadness 2021

AJKDBlog is excited to bring you the 9th edition of NephMadness! If you’re a #NephMadnessNewbie, this post is for you!

What is NephMadness?

NephMadness is a free online, CME-granting, evidenced-based, noncommercial learning initiative that leverages the tools of social media to teach about the latest and greatest breakthroughs in the field of nephrology! (From the 2017 explainer post)

The idea is based on March Madness, the annual US college basketball tournament. Instead of basketball teams, we selected the hottest nephrology topics to compete in NephMadness. More on the history of the madness in this Editorial: NephMadness 2015: Nephrology as a Cornerstone of Medicine. Also, check out @KidneyCathy‘s short video explainer:

What do I need to do?

  1. Read this year’s region posts here.
  2. Submit an individual or team bracket here.
  3. Discuss your picks with #NephTwitter!

Here are a couple helpful infographics by Michelle Lim @whatsthegfr:

What are the teams and regions?

There are 8 main nephrology topics (REGIONS) with 4 subtopics (TEAMS) in the tournament.

This year’s official bracket:

Resources for groups:





If you’re organizing a virtual party, here are instructions on how to fill out your bracket as a group with Zoom polls:

In Step 2 above, the A-B choices would look like this in the bracket:

Who picks the NephMadness champion?

A 9-member Blue Ribbon Panel selects the winners of each round in NephMadness. For each matchup, they are asked to pick the team that, in their opinion, will cause the most practice change in nephrology over the next 5 years. Here are the members of this year’s BRP:

Read more about the rationale behind the BRP in this Editorial: NephMadness After 5 Years: A Recap and Game Plan for the Future

What’s the Schedule?

  • March 1: Bracket entry opens
  • March 31: Deadline for bracket submission
  • April 2: First round results | Saturated 16 named
  • April 5: Saturated 16 results | Effluent 8 named
  • April 6: Effluent 8 results | Filtered 4 named
  • April 7: Filtered Four results | Finalists named
  • April 9: NephMadness 2021 Champion crowned


US-based physicians can earn 1.0 CME credit and 1.0 MOC per region. How to claim:

  1. Register/log in to the NKF’s Professional Education Resource Center (PERC). If you select “Physician” in the drop-down menu during registration, the ABIM ID will pop up – make sure to complete this during registration to receive MOC points after course completion.
  2. Review the activity, disclosure, and accreditation information.
  3. Click “Continue” and review Course Instructions.
  4. Complete Post-Test. Please note: By selecting “Yes” to the participation questions for each region, the corresponding Post-Test questions will appear. Click “Save Draft” to save your responses and finish later. When you are ready to submit your answers, click “Preview” to review all responses, then click “Submit.”
  5. Click “Next” to complete the Evaluation form, then click “Submit.”
  6. Claim 1.0 CME credit and 1.0 MOC point per region (up to 8.0 total for 8 regions of NephMadness).
  7. Save/print your certificate.

The CME and MOC activity will expire on June 14th, 2021.

What are the Prizes?

Grand Prizes: Top Overall Score, Top Medical Student Score, Top Resident Score, Top Fellow Score, and Top Attending Score

Each Grand Prize winner will receive complimentary year-long personal subscription to AJKD and Nature Reviews Nephrology and a plaque

Group Prizes: Highest Score, Most Entries, and Best Party

Each Group Prize winner will receive up to 30 NephMadness facemasks (more than 30 individuals can be affiliated with a group, but we will only award 30 prizes per group) and a plaque

  • Highest Score: Complete the question on the bracket submission site on whether you are submitting an entry on behalf of a group, adding “OFFICIAL” to the group name
  • Most Entries: Complete the question on the bracket submission site on whether you are part of a group and add the group name (everyone in the group should use the same group name to avoid confusion)
  • Best Party: Take a photo (or multiple) of your party and tag #NephMadnessParty

Social Prizes: Best Tweeter, Best Blogger, and Best Urine Microscopy Image* Winner

Each Social Prize winner will receive one NephMadness facemask 

*Details on the Best Urine Microscopy Image contest: Calling all medical students, residents, and fellows! Do you love to #SpinUrine? Share your original urine microscopy photo(s) on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LiquidBiopsy AND #NephMadness by April 9, 2021. The #PisseProphets comprising Florian Buchkremer, Jay Seltzer, Jose Tesser Poloni, and Juan Carlos Velez will judge and determine the winner based on image quality and an accompanying post identifying the element in the image. No protected health information (PHI) should be shared.

That’s it – we hope you’ll enjoy the fun and learning during NephMadness 2021!

The 2021 NephMadness Executive Team:


Submit your picks! | NephMadness 2021 | #NephMadness | @NephMadness



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  1. #NephMadness 2021: The Winners – AJKD Blog

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