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ASN Leads Efforts To Address Growing Crisis In Kidney Care

November 10, 2010

An estimated 26 million people, 13% of the United States population, are living with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), and this number continues to grow. If current trends continue, there will not be enough doctors to serve this expanding patient population.

To help address this crisis, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is convening a Summit on the Nephrology Workforce during its upcoming ASN Renal Week 2010 in Denver, Colorado, on November 17. Participants will discuss this crisis, its implications, and strategies to increase the number of kidney disease doctors in the United States.

“The ASN leadership is deeply concerned whether there will be enough nephrologists in the future to meet the growing demand for kidney specialists,” explains ASN Councilor Bruce A. Molitoris, MD, FASN, who chairs the ASN Task Force on Increasing Interest in Nephrology Careers.

The ASN Task Force is working to increase interest in kidney disease among medical students and internal medicine residents, particularly among underrepresented minorities and women. During the summit, Dr. Molitoris will present the task force’s final recommendations, which include ways to improve faculty development, encourage mentorship, and increase grant support for students to learn more about how nephrologists conduct research and improve lives of patients.

Medical school deans, department chairs, division chiefs, and training program directors from across the country will participate in the summit to help ASN identify the best approaches to solving this future shortage of kidney professionals.

“We are distressed by the growing evidence of an upcoming crisis in the number of kidney doctors required to meet the needs of the millions of patients with kidney disease,” said ASN President Sharon Anderson, MD, FASN. “We believe this summit is an important first step to ensuring that the millions who suffer from kidney disease continue to receive timely, high-quality care and that kidney research continues to advance our ability to address this growing epidemic.”

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