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 2014 will be held from November 11 - 16, 2014, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. Kidney STARs, formally known as the ASN Program for 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, 2011, and 2013, 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 hosted in 2014. Participating medical students, graduate 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 trainees have not yet chosen a subspecialty path, this program is especially formative in their decision-making process. 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 trainees, specifically medical students, graduate 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, students and residents will experience the premier kidney meeting in the world. Kidney professionals from around the world will meet to exchange knowledge and gain awareness of 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.