ASN Extends Benefits to Fellows, the Next Generation of Members

Today’s nephrology fellows represent the future of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN). These fellows will someday guide the Society, overseeing council meetings, advisory groups, and committees. They will lead ASN’s educational activities and help recruit, educate, and cultivate the interests and talents of the nephrologists who come after them.

Fellows still in training have limited resources, and the Society is proud to offer free membership to all nephrology fellows. This membership lasts through December 31 of the year they complete training and includes subscriptions to the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, ASN Kidney News, and Kidney Daily. Fellows also gain admittance to the “members-only” section of the web site, which includes the ASN Career Center, online Membership Directory, and online access to the journals.

Trainees are an integral part of the culture of Renal Week and Renal WeekEnds, bringing a fresh perspective and new ideas and questions to discussions. They are offered registration to these meetings at a discounted price. For the first time in 2009, ASN will provide each of 15 nephrology fellows $1000 in travel support to attend Renal Week. ASN also offers travel support to internal medicine residents who have expressed an interest in nephrology and are nominated by their program directors. In 2009, the ASN Residents Program will provide up to 150 residents with travel support as well as the opportunity to network with fellowship program directors and ASN leaders at a welcome reception and luncheon at the annual meeting.

Finally, ASN is committed to helping nephrology fellows prepare for their initial American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certifying exam in nephrology. ASN holds its Board Review Course and Update in San Francisco in August. This year, the program will take place August 29 – September 4. New this year, ASN administered the first ASN In-Training Exam (ITE) for Nephrology Fellows. This is an Internet-based exam that was given to 693 fellows and consisted of 150 multiple-choice questions on topics that mirrored the blueprint of ABIM’s exam. It will be given annually.

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ASN continues to expand its services for nephrology fellows. The Society recently surveyed fellows to assess how well ASN meets the needs of this important constituency; nearly 50 percent responded. More than 91 percent of fellows said they were “very satisfied” with the services provided by ASN. One commented that “ASN membership has helped me feel professionally connected to other nephrologists and nephrology-related health-care workers at an early stage of my career in nephrology.” Their thoughts regarding fellow travel support and reduced registration for Renal Week reinforced the value of providing such funding. The Society is grateful for the strong response and valuable feedback received. ASN’s leaders and staff will use the survey results to help inform future directions for the Society and to improve service to all ASN members.

Notes

[1] Susan Owens is senior policy coordinator at ASN and works to address all issues related to nephrology training programs