The annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) brings together renowned nephrology leadership from around the world. Kidney Week allows participants to share novel and innovative approaches to changes in health care, to advance their careers, strengthen clinical and basic research funding mechanisms, and develop best practices for treating and improving lives of the people who live with kidney disease. Specific areas of nephrology include acute kidney injury, bone and mineral metabolism, cell and transport physiology, chronic kidney disease, development, dialysis, glomerulonephritis, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, novel translational approaches, pathology, renal cystic diseases, and transplantation and immunology. Kidney Week 2011 will be held from November 8 - 13 in Philadelphia, PA. The ASN Program for Medical Students and Residents has been held at Kidney Week for the last 15 years. Students and residents are nominated by fellowship training directors or program directors from their institutions. Program events include a welcome reception with nephrology leadership, complimentary breakfasts, panels with program directors and fellows, a Closing Luncheon, and mentored visits to abstract posters. In 2010, a focus group of students and residents also met with Tracy Rankin, PhD, Career Development and Training Program Director for Kidney and Urologic Diseases at the NIDDK. There are plans to hold additional NIDDK focus groups in 2011. Participating medical students and residents will have the opportunity to interact with world leaders in the field of nephrology and gain from exposure to educational material and novel research. As most of these students and residents are undecided as to which specialty they will pursue, this program is especially important in helping students and residents decide. The purpose of the grant application is to request funds for to provide additional travel support awards to students and residents.
The goal of this annual program is to expose medical trainees, specifically medical students and residents, to the renal community. Nephrology is facing a workforce shortage and it is imperative that trainees receive adequate exposure to nephrology before choosing specialties. By awarding funds to allow trainees to attend ASN Kidney Week, medical students and residents will experience the premier kidney meeting in the world. Kidney professionals from around the world will meet to exchange knowledge and learn the latest scientific and medical advances. In addition to this valuable experience, trainees will have the opportunity to interact with nephrology training program directors and other nephrology leaders, as well as other trainees from across the country. As chronic kidney disease affects more and more of the US population, the need for nephrologists will increase. It is vital that more trainees decide to pursue a specialty in nephrology.