Nephrologist Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a nephrologist. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a nephrologist.
Who is a Nephrologist?
A nephrologist, often known as a kidney doctor, is a doctor who specializes in renal illness and is the best person to help you manage your kidney health. If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), a nephrologist can provide you with the knowledge, advice, and support you need to be healthy and keep your kidneys working as long as possible.
The name “nephrologist” is derived from the Greek word “nephros,” which means kidney, and “ology” means “student.” Kidney doctors are also known as nephrologists. Following medical school, nephrologists receive additional training in Internal Medicine before specializing in the treatment of patients with renal problems. Chronic kidney disease, acute kidney damage or failure, high blood pressure, kidney stones, and end-stage kidney disease, including dialysis and transplantation, are all prevalent conditions they address.
Nephrology is an internal medicine discipline that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of kidney problems. Because the kidney performs so many important activities, nephrologists are experts not only in treating primary renal problems but also in dealing with the systemic effects of kidney disease. Although early kidney disease prevention, detection, and care are important aspects of routine internal medicine practice, nephrologists are usually called upon to help with more complex or advanced nephrology problems.
Nephrologists are also experts in dialysis treatments such as hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, as well as other kidney-related surgical operations such as catheter placement and vascular access. Nephrologists are doctors who have completed further training to become experts in the care and treatment of kidney disease. They may even practice in general or internal medicine, providing care to those who do not have renal disease.
Their other responsibilities include transplant and intensive care medicines, immunosuppressive management, and perioperative care. Clinical pharmacology, pediatric nephrology, dialysis, kidney transplantation, chronic kidney disease, cancer-related kidney illnesses (Onconephrology), procedural nephrology, and other non-nephrology topics are some of the many specializations available.
They aid patients with the management of systemic conditions that could be the cause or the culprit of renal malfunction, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or malignancies, as specialists specializing in kidney difficulties and maladies. They communicate with patients to obtain extensive medical and family histories and then utilize their knowledge to develop a therapy and management plan for the patient’s condition, which may involve dialysis. They can also specialize in a certain field, such as pediatric nephrology.
They are sometimes called upon to perform organ transplants or help surgeons in undertaking transplant operations in addition to treating patients. A medical degree, a three-year residency in internal medicine, and passing the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification are all required for nephrologists.
A nephrologist typically conducts tests and ultrasounds to establish the stage of a patient’s kidney condition, prescribes medicine, and sends patients to renal surgeons or urologists as needed. Nephrologists typically treat the following kidney conditions:
- Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD or CRF), often known as advanced kidney condition, is a disease that affects the kidneys.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PCKD) is a type of kidney disease that affects a (PKD)
- Renal Failure Acute (ARF)
- High Blood Pressure (HBP)
- Renal End-Stage Failure (ESRD)
- Tubular flaws
- Renal artery stenosis, for example, is a vascular condition that affects the kidneys.
- Neoplasms of the kidney
- Glomerular diseases such as glomerulonephritis and nephrotic syndrome affect the kidneys.
- Kidney tubulointerstitial diseases
- Nephrolithiasis, for example, is a functional or structural abnormality of the kidney, bladder, or urine collection system.
- Fluid and electrolyte abnormalities, acid-base disorders, kidney stones, glomerular diseases, tubulointerstitial illnesses, and mineral metabolism are all conditions or diseases that may require a visit to a nephrologist.
Other tests done include:
- Biopsy of the kidneys: A kidney biopsy is used to diagnose disorders where the exact amount or stage of the disease is uncertain. A piece of kidney tissue is extracted and transported to the lab for further investigation in this process. Renal biopsy is used to determine the type of disease that a patient has. It also allows doctors to assess the severity of the disease and develop a treatment strategy.
- Ultrasound examinations: Ultrasound scans are frequently employed in the diagnosis of renal disease, but they are especially useful in the assessment of the urinary tract and blood vessels.
- CT scans: These are a type of scan that is used to lesions or tumors are found, this test is used to diagnose nephrolithiasis.
- Scintigraphy: This nuclear medicine test is used to correctly measure renal function and is rarely performed.
Many nephrologists work in solo or group offices, treating patients in consultation with other doctors and following chronic kidney disease patients over time. As part of their profession, nephrologists may also provide in-hospital consulting. Nephrologists also supervise dialysis units, which may be part of their practice, stand-alone, or be related to a hospital. Some doctors have a mix of nephrology and general medicine patients in their practices. Nephrologists work in academic settings, providing consultation and ongoing care in ambulatory and inpatient settings, as well as conducting fundamental scientific and clinical research on kidney illnesses and teaching medical students and residents.
Nephrologist Job Description
Below are the nephrologist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a nephrologist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
- Interview patients to diagnose ailments.
- Assess the kidneys to decide the best course of action.
- Direct Patients to surgeons.
- Manage and treat Conditions.
- Approve Dialysis
- Administer medication
- Organize and maintain all patient records by HIPAA guidelines.
- See patients with chronic kidney disease, glomerulonephritis, hypertension, and other kidney-related illnesses.
- Assist as a consultant physician with advanced cardiac imaging expertise and a strong focus on invasive echocardiography and structural heart disease.
- Work on accounts receivable and insurance denials.
- Keep up with the latest discoveries in kidney surgery and treatment.
- Maintain and guarantee that all essential patient records are updated and filed properly, whether on paper or in a computer database.
- Treat patients with kidney problems, using diathermy equipment, emanation tubes, cystoscopes, radium, catheters, and other medical devices as needed.
- Give anti-rejection medication to kidney transplant recipients to prevent infections and rejection.
- Refer patients who are suspected of having a tumorous kidney to the appropriate oncologists.
- A doctoral degree is required.
- Internal medicine, BC/BE.
- Graduate of a nephrology residency program that has been approved by the American Society of Nephrology.
- Exceptional organizational abilities.
- Knowledge of how to diagnose and treat morphological abnormalities using high-tech instruments and tools is required.
- Excellent communication skills are required.
- Excellent interpersonal and people management skills are required.
- Nephrologists should be passionate about nephrology and delivering care to a diverse range of patients.
- They should have a good bedside manner and be able to put patients at ease; patience, determination, attention to detail, and self-motivation are all important qualities.
- Ability to work in a fast-paced atmosphere when under pressure.
- Emotionally strong and capable of putting patients at rest.
- Outstanding management and leadership abilities.
- Manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and visuospatial awareness are all exceptional.
- Communication Capabilities: Communication abilities demonstrate your ability to communicate your thoughts, opinions, and ideas to others around you.
- Compassion: Compassion is an essential talent for dealing with people because it allows you to set your differences aside and show true kindness to others.
- Focused on the detail: Being detail-oriented entails being exceedingly aware of and attentive to all minor things.
How to Become a Nephrologist
- A bachelor’s degree is required: Although no specific undergraduate curriculum is necessary for this role, one that focuses on natural sciences will be advantageous.
- To get into medical school, take the Medical College Admissions Test: After four years of medical school, you can become a medical doctor. Two years of theory studies in a classroom will be followed by two years of clinical practice in a hospital or clinic.
- Finish a residency program: The Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education requires you to complete a two-year professional training residency.
- Obtain certification: Internal medicine certification from The American Board of Internal Medicine is required to practice as a nephrologist (ABIM).
- Participate in a fellowship program and earn your license: A three-year clinical nephrology fellowship is required.
Aspiring nephrologists will study the following topics throughout this fellowship:
- Glomerular/vascular illnesses: These are diseases of the glomeruli, which are small clusters of blood arteries in the kidneys. Kidney experts study how to halt the progression of these problems so that kidney function can be preserved for as long as possible.
- Tubular/interstitial illnesses: Are diseases that affect the tubules of the kidneys and the surrounding tissues. The tubules gather the kidney’s filtered fluid, which eventually produces urine. The symptoms of these illnesses and how to treat them are taught to kidney specialists.
- Hypertension: (also known as high blood pressure) is the second biggest cause of the f end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States. Blood pressure can rise if the kidneys excrete too much of a chemical called renin. Kidney doctors learn about the many types of blood pressure medications as well as other blood pressure-lowering approaches such as diet and exercise.
- Kidney transplantation: This is a procedure in which a person receives a kidney from someone else to replace their damaged kidneys. Nephrologists study all elements of kidney transplantation so that they can better comprehend and prepare their patients for the process.
- Mineral metabolism: Mineral metabolism diseases occur when the body’s mineral levels are abnormally high. Kidney doctors study how to diagnose and treat mineral metabolism issues to ensure that their patients obtain the minerals they require for healthy growth and proper body function.
- Nutrition: It plays an important role in reducing the progression of renal disease and coping with kidney failure. Kidney doctors must discover which nutrients kidney patients can and cannot consume to assist their patients in obtaining the nourishment they require.
- X-rays, sonograms, and other testing interpretations — X-rays, sonograms, and other tests are used to diagnose some kidney problems. To establish a reliable diagnosis, kidney specialists learn how to evaluate the findings of these tests.
- Management of chronic kidney disease (CKD): Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition in which the kidneys gradually stop performing over time. CKD is divided into five phases, the final of which is end-stage renal disease (ESRD). To delay the advancement of kidney disease and maintain their patients as healthy as possible, kidney doctors learn about the five stages of chronic kidney disease and how to manage them.
Furthermore, most nephrology fellowships entail one to two years of clinical or laboratory research, during which time each physician develops actual expertise in increasingly specialized areas of study.
Nephrologists in training learn to detect and treat renal problems throughout their fellowship. They must be conversant with all dialysis surgical techniques, including vascular access and catheter installation.
They become experts in all types of dialysis, including hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, and learn how to do kidney biopsies, which are examinations in which small bits of tissue from the kidney are removed for evaluation under a microscope.
- Finally, a state license is required to practice as a nephrologist.
Careers in Nephrologist
- Pediatric nephrologist: A pediatric nephrologist has the specific expertise and knowledge to treat your child if he or she has kidney or urinary tract disease, kidney stones, bladder difficulties, or high blood pressure. They provide care to children from infancy until late adolescence, and in some cases, even into young adulthood.
- Transplant nephrologist: A transplant nephrologist is a member of a transplant team that oversees the kidney evaluation process. A transplant surgeon, a transplant nephrologist, one or more transplant nurses, a social worker, and a psychiatrist or psychologist are among the members of the team.
- Urologists: They are medical professionals who specialize in treating disorders and preserving the health of both male and female reproductive organs and urinary systems.
Where to Work as a Nephrologist
Nephrologists can work in medical establishments like
- Private Practice
- Medical centers
Nephrologist Salary Scale
Nephrologists in the United States typically make between $133,955 and $307,322 per year, including bonuses of up to $55,000 per year.
Nephrology doctors’ baseline yearly salary typically ranges between $117,763 and $251,792.
Nephrologists who have earned a nephrology certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) typically earn between $122,339 and $257,605 per year.
In the United Kingdom, the average income for a nephrologist is £212,273 per year and £102 per hour. A nephrologist’s average pay ranges between £142,094 and £278,359. A doctorate is the most advanced level of study for a nephrologist on average.