Nephrology Training Program

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The OHSU Nephrology Fellowship trains physicians to become outstanding clinicians and leaders in healthcare. We offer a rigorous and flexible program designed to ensure our trainees become successful clinicians, investigators, and educators. Our training prepares fellows to become lifelong learners in nephrology dedicated to the patients they serve.

The OHSU Division of Nephrology and Hypertension is committed to the training of its fellows. We offer a diverse and complete training experience to prepare you for your desired future career.

A few strengths of the program include:

  • Engaged faculty dedicated to providing trainees with an excellent education while preventing burnout
  • Comprehensive didactics that prepare you to be a successful nephrologist (as well as pass the boards) but do not "teach to the test"
  • A Glomerular Disease Program with opportunities for research and exposure to all types of glomerular disease
  • Comprehensive Hypertension Program giving fellows exposure to secondary and resistant hypertension
  • A nationally-renowned transplant medicine program performing over 130 kidney and dual organ transplants and home to an AST Transplant Fellowship
  • An Advanced Communications and Wellness curriculum focusing on provider wellness and patient interactions, including use of the Vital Talk curriculum to improve communication skills in serious illness
  • An Advanced Dialysis curriculum for second-year fellows covering topics such as medical directorships, dialysis policy, and end-of-life care in ESRD
  • A strong Center for Diversity and Inclusion as well as a trainee Family Network providing support for trainees and their families
  • Fully paid conference attendance at national conferences for 1st and 2nd-year fellows
  • The William Bennett Endowment Fund provides funding for 2nd-year fellows to explore extra educational and academic opportunities
  • Our location in Portland, Oregon. An enchanting city with an abundance of outdoor and cultural activities to explore

Extensive outpatient continuity experiences including:

  • OHSU Hypertension clinic for 1st-year fellows (every other week)
  • OHSU and VA CKD clinics for 1st and 2nd-year fellows (every other week)
  • A cohort of VA hemodialysis patients you manage as a 2nd-year fellow
  • Peritoneal dialysis continuity clinic through OHSU as a 2nd-year fellow
  • Opportunities for additional education in home modalities

Close ties throughout OHSU and the Portland medical community leading to:

  • Engaged residents and students on consult rotations. Fellows gain experience in teaching and supervising learners.
  • Core faculty helping to move OHSU forward, including:

The Clinical Training is a 2-year program, designed for fellows with an interest in a clinical practice career. For this training, approximately 15-18 months are clinical training and 6-9 months are dedicated to research and scholarship. The clinical experience occurs primarily at OHSU and the Portland VA Medical Center. Fellows gain experience in the evaluation and management of kidney diseases and hypertension, as well as the provision of acute and chronic hemodialysis, continuous renal replacement therapies, peritoneal dialysis, renal transplantation, temporary dialysis catheter placement, and renal biopsies with pathology interpretation. Outpatient clinic experiences in the first and second years include one half-day of clinic per week, alternating between OHSU and the VA. Fellows also directly care for their own panel of VA hemodialysis patients throughout their second year and complete six months of peritoneal dialysis continuity clinic.

The Academic Physician Scientist Training is designed for fellows with an interest in an academic career, with the development of skills in education and research (either basic science or clinical). This is a 3-year program, with approximately 12-14 clinical months (similar to the Clinical Pathway) and the remainder dedicated to research and scholarship. Outpatient clinic experiences mirror those of the Clinical Pathway. During research months in the second year, fellows will have limited clinical responsibility, usually consisting of a weekly outpatient clinic and caring for their continuity dialysis patients. The third year is completely dedicated to research training though additional clinical training is available as desired by the fellow.

Nephrology fellowship applicants must have completed three years of postgraduate training in an ACGME accredited internal medicine program prior to beginning fellowship. Applications are judged on the basis of the applicant's academic and clinical training record, recommendations of medical school and postgraduate training supervisors, and interviews with faculty. Applicants must be legally able to work in the U.S., or eligible to obtain work authorization.

Applications are only accepted through ERAS. We participate in the national nephrology match and do not accept applications outside the match.

Application requirements

The following is required to be submitted via ERAS:

  1. Completed ERAS application
  2. Personal statement
  3. Letters of recommendation from:
    1. Any physician or medical scientist having special knowledge of the applicant's ability or performance. Two are required and additional letters in this category are welcome.
    2. The Director of the applicant's internship and residency program.
    3. The Dean of the applicant's medical school (Dean's Letter). Note, applications are not complete and will not be reviewed without the Dean's letter. If you are a foreign graduate and have difficulty obtaining a Dean's letter, please email the information to us.
  4. ECFMG certificate is required, if applicable
  5. Board scores and medical school transcript must be provided

Candidates invited to interview will be contacted directly by our office. If you have a specific interest in transplantation or a certain clinical pathway please let us know so we can customize your interview day accordingly.  Please email us with any questions about our program.

OHSU and the Portland VA Medical Center are our main clinical teaching sites. OHSU is the sole academic medical center in Oregon and Southwest Washington, and serves as a tertiary referral center for the state of Oregon as well as portions of Washington, Idaho, and Northern California. This gives fellows a diverse training experience and extensive exposure to renal complications related to autoimmune and oncologic disorders, trauma, and infectious disease in addition to the effects of diabetes and hypertension. The Portland VA Medical Center provides top-rated care to Veterans in the area and also performs the majority of kidney transplants for the VA on the West Coast, ensuring strong exposure for our fellows. OHSU and the Portland VA Medical Center are connected via a sky bridge, allowing fellows to provide care at both hospitals without missing conferences or other core components of their education.

Our division offers additional clinical pathways to support a trainees' interest and growth as they begin their nephrology careers. The aim is to give fellows additional experience in these areas without extending their length of training. These pathways are open to either clinical or research fellows.

This experience may take the shape of inpatient electives, outpatient clinic experiences, didactics, and teaching experiences. The pathways may also include a research or quality improvement project in that area.

These areas include:

Please contact us if you would like more information on any of these pathways
or other aspects of our program.

Example schedules for years 1 and 2

Year 1

  • 5-6 months of acute nephrology consult service
  • 2-3 months of ESRD consult service
  • 2 months of transplant kidney medicine (non-consecutive)
  • 2 months of ambulatory experience (non-consecutive)

Year 2

  • 1-3 months of acute nephrology consult service
  • 1-3 months of ESRD consult service
  • 6-9 months of dedicated research, scholarship, and clinical electives

The 1st-year ambulatory experiences can include further outpatient transplant exposure (adult and pediatric), observing peritoneal dialysis patient trainings, education in nutrition, technical dialysis training about how dialysis is delivered, urology stone clinics, vascular surgery and interventional radiology exposure, interdisciplinary vascular care conferences, and pediatric nephrology exposure.

Educational conferences for fellows

  • Clinical case conference - a weekly conference where fellows on consult services present recent cases for discussion on a rotating basis.
  • Journal clubs - a weekly conference where reviews of current and past papers are presented by fellows and faculty. Fellows present once a year.
  • Research conference - a weekly conference given by fellows and faculty about their research projects. Clinical track fellows present at the end of their second year.
  • Pathology conference - a monthly fellow-centered conference designed to prepare trainees to utilize renal pathology in their practice.

National conferences for fellows

  • National Kidney Foundation annual meeting (1st year).
  • American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week (2nd and 3rd years).
  • Funding (via an educational endowment) exists for 2nd-year fellows to attend other conferences (such as the Nephrology Business Leadership University, Home Dialysis University, KIDNEYcon, CRRT conferences, and more).

Fellowship administration:

Oregon Health & Science University
Division of Nephrology & Hypertension
Mail Code: SJH6
3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road
Portland, OR  97239-3098
Phone: 503-494-9840
Fax: 503-494-4889
Email: nhfellow@ohsu.edu

Program Director:

Jessica Weiss, M.D., M.C.R.

Associate Program Director:

Robert Rope, M.D.