Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship Curriculum

Our fellowship curriculum was designed to prepare fellows to be exemplary clinicians and educators of pediatric nephrology and is ideally suited for those interested in academic medicine. Fellows will develop expertise in caring for a wide range of pediatric patient populations (from neonates to emerging adults) with a broad range of renal diseases, including:

  • Fluid and electrolyte disorders
  • Bone and mineral disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Chronic kidney disease, including End Stage Renal Disease
  • Acute and chronic glomerular disorders
  • Inherited renal disorders, including cystic and tubular disorders
  • Preparation and care of the renal transplant recipient
  • Congenital Anomalies of the Kidney and Urinary Tract, alongside the Pediatric Urology division
  • Urolithiasis
  • Vesicoureteral reflux
  • Voiding disorders

In addition, fellows will master the skills for independent performance of a broad range of procedures, including:

  • Native and transplanted kidney biopsy
  • Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy
  • Hemodialysis, acute and chronic
  • Peritoneal Dialysis, acute and chronic
  • Plasmapheresis

Service Time

Fellows will function both in a supervisory and direct care role during their in-patient service time, with guidance provided by members of the Division faculty. Clinical responsibilities include coverage of the primary inpatient service, in conjunction with the assigned residents, as well as the consultation service. Service time is divided into 13 four-week blocks over the course of a year, with the majority of the inpatient clinical duties occurring during the first year of fellowship (7 four-week blocks). The remaining inpatient time divided between the second- and third-year fellows (one four-week block each year).

The breakdown of service time allows fellows to become increasingly independent over the course of their training, as well as allowing research mentors and projects to be explored during the first year of fellowship.


Fellows also have 4 four-week blocks of electives during the first year of fellowship. Two of these electives are Outpatient Dialysis (spent at the Vanderbilt Dialysis Clinic) and Renal Pathology. Additional electives are offered in Pediatric Urology, Pediatric Radiology, Adult Nephrology, and Transplant Medicine. Fellows also have the opportunity to develop their own electives to match their individual career goals.

Call Schedule

Fellows will take overnight call during each four-week block of time, whether on clinical service, elective, or research time. Overnight call can be taken from home unless there is a clinical need for patients to be seen in-person. For each four-week block, a fellow will have one weekday call block consisting of coverage from 5 pm to 7 am the following morning, Monday through Thursday nights. Additionally, for each four-week block, a fellow will have one weekend call block consisting of coverage from 5 pm Friday evening until 7 am Monday morning, including clinical rounds on Saturday and Sunday. In essence, overnight call will be one out of every 4 weeks during fellowship.

Outpatient Clinic

Each fellow is assigned a single half-day clinic per week to care for their own panel of nephrology patients under the supervision of the division faculty. The patients followed in this clinic include the gambit of nephrology disorders, including new referrals from the community as well as patients seen in follow-up from hospitalization. Additionally, fellows would also be expected to have longitudinal experience with Home Dialysis Clinic patients. Additional clinic opportunities include Hypertension Clinic, Kidney Stone Clinic, and prenatal consultations as determined by their independent learning and career goals.

Scholarly Activity

Fellows will be expected to design and implement a research project over the course of their fellowship. Time is provided during the first year of fellowship to establish mentorship and explore potential research projects.

Possible research projects vary depending on the fellow's clinical and research interests, and may vary from clinical, translational, or laboratory-based basic science research. A Scholarship Oversight Committee (SOC) will be established with each fellow to provide additional guidance towards successful completion of each project, with the expectation that each project effort will result in manuscript(s) for presentation at national meetings and submission to an academic journal.

Additional opportunities of scholarly activity include participation in quality improvement, bioethics, or educational initiatives during fellowship with the expectation that the fellow develops and/or implements a product under the guidance of a faculty member.

Support and guidance in the pursuit of training grants (T32) is also supported and encouraged by the program faculty.