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ASN leads efforts to address growing crisis in kidney care

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."

ASN Renal Week 2010, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, will provide a forum for 13,000 professionals to discuss the latest findings in renal research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney and related disorders. Renal Week 2010 will take place November 16 – November 21 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is the world's largest professional society devoted to the study of kidney disease. Comprised of 11,000 physicians and scientists, ASN continues to promote expert patient care, to advance medical research, and to educate the renal community. ASN also informs policymakers about issues of importance to kidney doctors and their patients. ASN funds research, and through its world-renowned meetings and first-class publications, disseminates information and educational tools that empower physicians.

Shari Leventhal | EurekAlert!
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