This application requests travel support for young nephrologists in training and practice in order to help them attend the 2012 American Society of Nephrology (ASN) pre-course in Geriatric Nephrology titled: """"""""Advances in Geriatric Nephrology: Translating Research Into Practice"""""""". This is the only course in the USA which is dedicated to geriatric nephrology. It is a novel and necessary approach to training and practice of nephrology in the US, because rapid aging of the population poses serious challenges to the current system and practice of medicine. ASN has initiated integration of geriatrics and palliative care concepts in to the field of nephrology using non-traditional and highly innovative approaches. Such strategy was driven by the existing realities: first, we realized only a small number of Nephrology Training Programs in the US had sufficient access to Geriatric support and only small numbers of academic nephrology faculty had either and interest or formal training in Geriatrics. Second, we faced the changing environment of medical education and had to develop teaching tools that would serve the learner in the era of fast developing technology. Third, and to be underscored, we appreciated the need for a more interactive style of education. The ASN pre-courses in Geriatric Nephrology started in 2008. Due to the expenses of travel less than 2% of all attendees were young nephrologists in training. The ASN pre-course in Geriatric Nephrology Organizing Committee and Geriatric Nephrology Advisory Group to the ASN considered that increasing participation of young nephrologists is of paramount importance and committed to overcome the financial barriers that prevented young physicians from acquiring the knowledge they will need to provide optimal care in the near future. In 2010 Geriatric Nephrology Conference nephrology fellows accounted for 19% of all attendees due to the travel support grant provided by the NIH. However, their attendance fell in 2011 to 10% when the travel support was not available. The goal of this yearly conference is to improve knowledge of Geriatric Nephrology which would lead to better medical care received by older patients with kidney disease.
Over the next several decades, we can expect to see a dramatic increase in the size of the elderly population with chronic kidney disease in the US. The annual ASN course in Geriatric Nephrology seeks to teach adult nephrologists principles of geriatrics and palliative care, so that physicians can make the best informed treatment recommendations and appropriately guide older patients and their families in their own decision making about their medical care.