The UVA Nephrology experience more than adequately prepared me for post-fellowship life and nephrology in the real world. After fellowship, I joined a 10 physician nephrology-only practice in Greenville, SC. Since then, the group has grown to 13 docs with 3 nurse practitioners. We cover almost 20 dialysis units, 7+ hospitals, and have recently expanded into a nearby city. There is no shortage of work. Though most of the patients I see are typical CKD patients, I do see some GN and also take care of acutely ill AKI patients in the hospital. We have a vascular access center with three interventional nephrologists who rotate through and are involved in three joint venture home dialysis programs. We have expanded our home program to 20% of our total population. I was lucky to find an egalitarian group and one that shares call and income fairly through the group. When I started, I was an employee for two years and then graded into full partnership over the following three years. Most days, I work 8-4:30 and I take night call 3-4 times/month and work 1-2 weekends/month. The call nights have become more tolerable since the hospitalists have begun admitting all of our patients, but it can still be busy. I have a great mix of hospital rounding, in-center hemodialysis rounding, home dialysis rounding, and clinic, so I don’t get bored working in the same place with the same patients each day. Also, to keep my days varied, I have developed a cooking show just for people with kidney disease: carolinanephrology.com/cooking and have also become involved in the business aspects of my practice.
— Blake Shusterman, MD, class of 2009
During my training at the University of Virginia, I received a well-rounded training in all the aspects of nephrology, from inpatient consults to outpatient clinic to home dialysis to in-center hemodialysis. With any training, it can be tiring, but when I graduated, I felt well versed to handle any situation and, equally important, pass my nephrology boards. The faculty at UVA was an integral part in my training and subsequent career. The collegiality among the fellows and the division was always evident, from the most senior faculty down to the fellows. They pushed me to be a better nephrologist by questioning the normal and reviewing new discoveries in nephrology. With the help of faculty, I was able to find different jobs within the field of nephrology. In the end, I decided to join Johns Hopkins University as an Assistant Professor. I continually use my experience during fellowship at UVA to illustrate and teach my fellows different ways of managing patients with kidney disease.
— Daphne Harrington Knicely, MD, class of 2014
My UVA Nephrology fellowship was one of the best times in my training period. The faculty is very diverse and also very approachable and treated the fellows as colleagues and friends. Each faculty had specific area of expertise ranging from AKI, sodium and water balance, plasmapheresis, renal imaging, geriatric nephrology, and also GN. Thus, as fellows, we had the opportunity to meet and discuss cases and increase our fund of knowledge from the best in the field at UVA. I don’t think any other nephrology program would have such a rich and diverse nationally recognized faculty in one teaching program. There was no paucity for complicated and challenging cases, and working under the care and guidance of the faculty helped me to gain the required knowledge and confidence to be competent nephrologist. I would rate the UVA Nephrology program in the top one percentile in terms of world class training provided to fellows.
I am currently working as a consultant nephrologist in Martinsville, VA. Life as a practicing nephrologist is busy and hectic. I am fortunate to be part of a bigger group (who treat me very well), but I have to cover the hospital, clinic and HD unit in any given day. Long hours and being on call is the norm. The science of nephrology fascinates me more than ever, and the people with kidney disease need my help. That should be the guiding principle for any future IM residents interested in the field of nephrology.
— Sajid George, MD, class of 2011
I thoroughly appreciated my UVA Nephrology experience. From day one, the faculty took a real interest in our career development and goals. It was a privilege to learn from excellent clinicians and scientists and I felt well prepared to start my Nephrology career at a busy private practice in the Southeast. The group I joined is a hybrid model where a private group also provides the Nephrology rounding and teaching for the residency program, and I have continued to lecture and teach on rounds with both residents and medical students. UVA prepared me to place lines urgently, a necessity at times; to prepare in-depth lectures; to continue a teaching career; and to move efficiently to see a large number of patients both in hospital and clinic settings. I additionally formed meaningful friendships and continue to appreciate the input of my co-fellows on difficult cases.
–Hans Yehnert, class of 2014