Renal Ultrasound, Dialysis Catheter Placement, and Kidney Biopsy Experience of US Nephrology Fellows

Am J Kidney Dis. 2016 Aug;68(2):187-192. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2016.02.054. Epub 2016 Apr 22.


Procedures are a key component to the practice of nephrology. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires nephrology fellows to acquire skills and demonstrate competency in the performance of several procedures during fellowship training, including temporary hemodialysis catheter placement, biopsy of native and transplanted kidneys, and various dialytic therapies. It is also required that fellows acquire competency in the interpretation of renal imaging, including renal ultrasound, during their training. To gain a more recent perspective of nephrology fellows' experiences regarding renal ultrasonography, dialysis catheter placement, and kidney biopsies, we carried out a national survey of nephrology fellows in May 2014. A majority of the programs did not offer formal clinical training in renal ultrasonography. In addition, a significant percentage of fellows in adult nephrology may not be acquiring the required procedural skills and competency during fellowship training. In this perspective, we explore some of the reasons for this occurrence and propose some measures that the nephrology training community can take to enhance procedural skills and competency of fellows.

Keywords: Nephrology fellowship training; catheter placement; dialysis catheter; educational research; kidney biopsy; lung ultrasound; national survey; nephrology education; procedural skills competency; procedures; renal imaging; renal ultrasound.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Catheterization*
  • Catheters, Indwelling*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Fellowships and Scholarships*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging*
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Nephrology / education*
  • Renal Dialysis* / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonography*
  • United States