Creating lasting knowledge requires education beyond passive lecture attendance. We have thus created an integrated curriculum that employs active learning principles. The curriculum progresses through 7 topic blocks over 12 months (the topics are revisited and solidified in the second year of training):
Hemodialysis, Peritoneal Dialysis, CRRT
HTN, including Secondary Forms
Fluids, Electrolytes, and Acid-base
Divalent Cations, Phosphate, and Nephrolithiasis
Each block is preceded by a question set that the fellow completes with the assistance of outside reading. These quizzes are reviewed in small group sessions prior to the related lecture block. Such self-directed learning and quizzing prior to lecture blocks enhances knowledge acquisition during lectures and provides Nephrology Board Exam practice. Over the next 4-6 weeks, we proceed through conferences (see below) related to that topic. A pocketbook of lecture notes provided at the start of the year facilitates learning further. Finally, the block is concluded with a NephSAP question review which relates to the same subject matter. This iterative and active learning process ensures that concepts are learned.
Conferences are conducted during the noon hour, offering the opportunity for trainees to feed their minds and stomachs. Many of the lectures are provided by authorities in their respective fields and several faculty members have been recognized for their excellence in teaching. Indeed our Division won the ASN Innovations in Kidney Education Contest both in 2015 and 2016, the first 2 years of the competition’s existence. All lectures are available for the trainee to review online after hours or at the bedside through the MedHub Resident Management Suite. The components of the conference series follow:
- Renal Grand Rounds – Lectures covering renal physiology and topics in clinical nephrology are provided every Tuesday and Thursday. These are presented in topic blocks that cover the entire field of nephrology.
- Renal Pathology Conferences – Monthly sessions stationed at the multi-head microscope with the attending renal pathologist; Pathology cases, grouped according to diagnosis, are reviewed.
- Block Quiz/Board Prep – Fellows are administered quizzes prior to each block of lectures. These are reviewed in small group sessions prior to the start of the related block.
- NephSAP – This education resource provided by ASN is employed in the form of group question/answer sessions.
- Contemporary Journal Club – Recent studies published in the literature are critically appraised.
- Historical Journal Club – Classic studies which have shaped our practice of nephrology are reviewed.
- Morbidity and Mortality – Cases are reviewed in order to stimulate practice improvement.
- Controversies in Nephrology – Two pre-specified discussants, either fellows or faculty, debate either side of a clinical problem in nephrology.
- Potpourri – Recent challenging cases encountered on the clinical services are presented to a discussant as unknowns to dissect