Facts about the Nephrology in the U.S.


Did you know that approximately 26 million Americans suffer from acute kidney disease; say about 1 in 9. This gets even serious as studies prove that 570,000+ Americans are reported of kidney failure which is also known by many as end-stage renal disease. The Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) in USA works upon bettering patient conditions and supporting process of new therapies for all kidney patients.

  • The innovation and launch of new Nephrology drugs in the United States has significantly helped the treatment of patients with kidney diseases.

Did you know that kidney diseases can vary in the occurrence depending on race and ethnicity? Sad, but true as the facts are concerned:
  • Afro-Americans are more likely to suffer from kidney failure as compared to white counterparts, due to hypertension. Having said that, African-Americans are 4 times more prone to getting kidney failure than Caucasians.
  • Caucasians are, on the other hand, 2 times less likely than Hispanics and American Indians when it comes to getting a kidney failure.
What does kidney failure result in?
  • Kidney failure can cause hypertension which may be diagnosed in 80% of kidney patients.
  • Besides, heart disease and heart attacks can be caused by kidney failure too.
Now let us get run you through 5 prime interconnected Nephrology workforce problems that come up every year:

The number of Nephrologists needed per year
Over the past few years, there has been a decline in the number of USA Allopathic medical school graduates and international medical graduates opting for Nephrology. Academic year 2014-15 saw 8% drop in the fellows entering the Nephrology specialty, which went even worse in 2015–16. Surveys indicated that the issues in attracting well-qualified Nephrology fellows can be a cause the numbers are decreasing. The demand and supply may be gradually becoming slow. Fortunately, the new “all-in” policy is probably going to help in the increase of the applicant numbers in Nephrology.

The location distribution of Nephrologists
The distribution of Nephrologists is not even across the USA and even the distribution of kidney patients is very vague. The fellowship programs’ location allocation is not in lines with the regions of requirement. So, the graduates of present programs have chosen the Executive Summary stay in the regions they are trained in. There is a need to identify the areas of major need for Nephrologists and to pass on those reports to policy-makers and fellows both. So, if there is any slowdown in the increase in the number if entrants into this specialty, it should be checked attentively.

Future career paths for Nephrologists
With the increase in the division of kidney treatment included with procedures indicating their relation to other specialties which include hospitalists, there remains a message of uncertainty of the application of such procedures in the future. Given that, the growing for-profit dialysis providers and the time spent in observing dialysis care, along side accelerating pressure to yield more income add up to making the specialty less captivating and profitable to the existing as well as potential Nephrologists. Their roles and responsibilities should be watched upon closely aligned with the health care system that is constantly moving towards  population-centric health care. If given attention these features, Nephrology may become more alluring a field to most internists in the future.

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Source: asn-online.org
Image source: davita.com