The Professional Development Seminar (PDS) is organized by Women in Nephrology (WIN) and has been offered annually since 1996 as a part of the post-graduate education courses during the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Kidney Week. The overall objective of the PDS is to provide key knowledge base and skills to nephrology trainees and junior faculty to enhance their professional growth and to help them reach their career goals. Specifically, PDS offers insights into characteristics that lead to a successful career in nephrology in the current workforce environment, highlight skills necessary to acquire these characteristics, and identify and develop strategies to overcome barriers. The Seminar also fosters networking, bringing together junior and senior physicians and scientists in nephrology, creating synergy in a setting for groups among whom interactions do not typically occur. The unique setting of the PDS (occurring immediately prior to the American Society of Nephrology [ASN] annual meeting) allows the interactions initiated at PDS to solidify throughout the week and beyond. This year, the Seminar is an intensive two-day learning event. A variety of delivery methods and formats, from 1:1 speed-mentoring to facilitated group discussion, to plenary sessions, are employed to stimulate and maximize effective learning. Each invited speaker will be given specific instructions as to objectives to be achieved in their allotted time. Most of the speakers for the plenary sessions are also assigned to group discussions and 1:1 mentoring for further individualized career counseling. With growing population of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), the demands for quality CKD patient care and advancement in nephrology research have become more intense. One critical aspect of meeting these demands is to ensure the high quality of our future workforce, which hinges on nurturing professional career growth for those coming into the field. Nephrology fellowship training does not include a focused training on professional growth, essential for achieving a successful career. The proposed PDS is an effort to fill this gap, providing key knowledge and skills to empower participants to maximize their potential and allow them to have more opportunity to flourish, thereby contributing their talents more fully to the better understanding of kidney diseases, their diagnosis and treatment. The Seminar is, therefore, timely and is clearly an NIH/NIDDK area of specific focus. The organizers and speakers of the seminar are of exceptional quality and uniquely suited for their assigned tasks. On the basis of feedback over the years, PDS has been consistently achieving its objectives. It exerts a powerful impact on the career development of many attendees who not only have achieved their professional goals but also return each year as invited speakers and/or planners of PDS. Approximately 50% PDS attendees have been women and under-represented minorities.
The proposed Professional Development Seminar (PDS) will provide key knowledge base and skills to nephrology trainees and junior faculty to enhance their professional growth. By so doing, the Seminar will empower participants to maximize their potential and allow them to have more opportunity to flourish, thereby contributing their talents more fully to the better understanding of kidney diseases, their diagnosis and treatment. The Seminar is clearly an NIH/NIDDK area of specific focus and will contribute to the preservation of the value of medicine and to the advancement of public health related to kidney diseases.