The annual meeting (Kidney Week) 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 focuses in 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 2013 will be held from November 5 - 10, 2013, at the Georgia World Congress in Atlanta, GA. The ASN Program for Medical Students and Residents has been held at Kidney Week for more than 16 years. Students and residents are nominated by fellowship training directors, program directors, or faculty from their institutions. Program events include a welcome reception with nephrology leadership, a complimentary breakfast, panel discussions with program directors and fellows, and mentored visits to abstract posters. In 2010 and 2011, a focus group of students met with representatives from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Unfortunately in 2012, the focus group was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy. The NIDDK focus group for students will be renewed in 2013. 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 this grant application is to request funds 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.