Nephrology training in Australia and New Zealand: A survey of outcomes and adequacy

Nephrology (Carlton). 2017 Jan;22(1):35-42. doi: 10.1111/nep.12720.


Background: Advanced training programmes in nephrology should provide broad exposure to all aspects of nephrology. In Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), the Advanced Training Committee in Nephrology oversees training, and recent increases in trainee numbers have led to concern about dilution of experience.

Aim: To investigate early career paths of nephrologists in ANZ and determine the adequacy of training by comparing self-determined competency and skill relevance among recently graduated nephrologists.

Methods: In 2015, the Advanced Training Committee in Nephrology administered an online survey during the annual subscription for members of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology. Nephrologists who were awarded Fellowship after 2002 were invited to participate.

Results: The survey was completed by 113 Fellows with 8 respondents excluded (response rate 44.1%). Initial post-Fellowship work included full-time public hospital appointments (34.3%) or undertaking full-time higher research degrees (41.9%). The majority reported securing their desired employment. Respondents indicated adequate training in most clinical skills; however, responses of 'well trained' in home haemodialysis (41.8%), conservative care (42.9%), automated peritoneal dialysis (38.8%), and assessment of kidney transplant recipients (48%) and living kidney donors (34.7%) were less adequate. Although considered highly relevant to current practice, responses of 'well trained' were low for management and research skills, including complaint management (16.3%), private practice management (2%), health system knowledge (14.3%) and regulations (6.1%), ethics approval (23.5%), research funding (11.2%) and quality assurance (26.5%).

Conclusion: Nephrology training in ANZ generally meets clinical needs and most secure their desired employment. Training in management and research are areas for improvement.

Keywords: Australia; New Zealand; curriculum; nephrology; training.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Australia
  • Biomedical Research
  • Career Choice
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Fellowships and Scholarships*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nephrologists / education*
  • Nephrologists / psychology
  • Nephrology / education*
  • New Zealand
  • Surveys and Questionnaires