Public Release: 

George Washington University report outlines opportunities, challenges for kidney health workforce

American Society of Nephrology

Washington, DC (October 1, 2018) -- The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) released a new analysis of the kidney health workforce that identifies practice setting as a key factor for nephrologists starting their careers. Authored by researchers from the George Washington University-Health Workforce Institute (GW-HWI), Early Career Nephrologists: Results of a 2017 Survey is available online at http://www.asn-online.org/workforce.

"The survey revealed significant differences between nephrologists working in group practices compared to those in academic positions," said GW-HWI principal investigator Edward Salsberg, MPA. "After reviewing other factors--including gender, location/type of education (US medical graduate [USMG] vs. international medical graduate [IMG]), and length of time since graduation--practice setting is a major factor influencing educational pathways, current practice characteristics, and satisfaction."

The report is the latest in a series ASN has produced in collaboration with GW-HWI.

"Both group practice and academic nephrologists were satisfied or very satisfied with the intellectual challenges (92.6% and 93.3% respectively) and with their relationships with patients (91% and 94.5% respectively)," said Salsberg. "On the other hand, income and lifestyle were challenging for many nephrologists."

Among the report's key findings:

  • In general, women and male USMGs were more likely to practice in academic settings, while IMGs were more likely to practice in group practices.

  • Nephrologists in group practices were more likely to work longer hours as well as weekends and evenings but they also made more money.

  • Nephrologists in academic settings are more satisfied with their positions and may trade off work hours and income for lifestyle considerations.

In addition to the Early Career Nephrologists report, GW's report on the annual ASN Nephrology Fellows Survey will be released in advance of ASN Kidney Week 2018, the world's largest meeting of kidney health professionals being held October 23-28 in San Diego CA. Nephrology workforce research is one part of ASN's commitment to empower current and future members of the nephrology workforce and advance their professional goals and success.

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The views and findings in this report reflect the work of the GW Health Workforce Institute (GW-HWI) and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASN or GW University.

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Since 1966, ASN has been leading the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. ASN has nearly 20,000 members representing 124 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.asn-online.org or contact the society at 202-640-4660.

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