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Matthew A. Sparks

2020 was a challenging year in nephrology education. In-person annual meetings shifted virtual, and many of us learned firsthand the concept of “Zoom fatigue,” as our institutional meetings and conferences moved virtually. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) made a big announcement that will likely have a long-lasting impact on research training. Home dialysis education was front and center. How will the nephrology education landscape continue to evolve in 2021?

Virtual conferences are here to stay

There is no denying that virtual education is here to stay. Coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in an almost complete shift to the

Annika Khine and Eugene Lin

On the heels of an historic election with record voter turnout comes no shortage of kidney policies. While coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains the priority, developments in kidney policies will continue unabated, including two payment models, new Medicare Advantage rules, and reductions in barriers to kidney transplantation.

COVID-19

During the pandemic, the kidney community led the nation in innovating infection control measures, especially in dialysis facilities. Tragically, patients on dialysis still experienced a disproportionate share of hospitalizations and mortality. One silver lining is that peritoneal dialysis was associated with fewer hospitalizations (1), which may provide tailwinds for

Karen Blum

As a child, Kenar Jhaveri, MD, FASN, often found creative ways to demonstrate his school learning, from performing skits to creating crossword puzzles. That continued in his nephrology career teaching medical trainees. Now, Jhaveri is excited to bring his passion for innovation and education to ASN Kidney News, where he becomes the new editor-in-chief in January 2021.

ASN’s monthly newsmagazine “does a great job of reaching the whole nephrology community, covering a good mix of fun and serious topics,” said Jhaveri, professor of medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and associate chief

Maria Jose Soler Romeo

The year 2020 brought a pandemic that prompted the kidney community to modify daily clinical practice to avoid severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in our patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). Advanced CKD and solid organ transplantation have been identified as risk factors for mortality in patients with coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1). Moreover, patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) were also identified to be at high risk of mortality compared to the general population (2).

Amid the pandemic, how do we communicate with our high-risk patients? How do we take care

Ray Bignall II

Children are our future, and the year ahead in pediatric nephrology holds tremendous promise to advance healthcare for children with kidney diseases. The pediatric nephrology community has been hard at work championing the innovations and advocating for the change necessary to make a brighter future a reality for children with kidney diseases, their families, and those who care for them. With so many exciting advances across the spectrum of pediatric kidney care, here are a few of the areas to follow closely in 2021.

Neonatal nephrology—the nascent field is now full term

There is growing appreciation for the role of

Thomas H. Watson, Daniel E. Weiner, Jerry Yee, Jeffrey Silberzweig, and for the Outpatient Dialysis Subcommittee of the American Society of Nephrology COVID-19 Response Team

Nearly 800,000 patients in the United States have end-stage kidney disease, with more than 550,000 receiving maintenance dialysis (1). Compared to the general population, dialysis patients incur a greater burden of illness, with more comorbid conditions, including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, intrinsic pulmonary disease, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, obesity, and frailty. Individuals dependent on maintenance dialysis are extremely vulnerable to the effects of infection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), with COVID-associated mortality likely exceeding 20% (2).

In October 2020, the National Academy of Medicine released its

Katie Kwon

Compensation for physicians in nephrology has long lagged behind that for other more procedure-based medical specialties. The past few years have shown signs of hope in addressing the compensation gap. The Advancing American Kidney Health initiative introduced more value-based payment models, both voluntary and mandatory. Up to half of the 10,000 nephrologists in the country will be participating in these programs, which seek to rein in costs while improving patient outcomes. A third have been enrolled in the mandatory model, whereas the optional Kidney Care Choices/Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting (KCC/CKCC) models have attracted applicants representing roughly another 20% of the

Samira S. Farouk

#NoMoreManels, a hashtag that continues to trend on social media in 2021, both within and outside nephrology, is used to draw attention to panels of all-men speakers and moderators, despite an active US physician workforce that is over one-third women (1).

As with its inception as a field more than 50 years ago, nephrology remains a man-dominated discipline, with 30% women nephrologists (2). There exist gender disparities, not only in representation of women nephrologists but also in significant imbalances in compensation and leadership positions. Women earn a mean of $31,000 per year less than their male

The year 2020 brought unprecedented challenges to our nation and world. The emergence of the first pandemic in over 100 years and the social unrest following police killings of Black people required action from many quarters of society—including nephrology.

ASN responded on all fronts, advocating for resources for patients and professionals to improve kidney care during a global crisis and committing to dismantle systemic racism in nephrology and to overcome the barriers social determinants of health impose on kidney care.

ASN pivoted the world’s premier nephrology meeting to a fully online environment in order to continue to disseminate vital advances

ASN President Anupam Agarwal, MD, FASN, issued a call to arms to nephrologists to reimagine their profession by 2030.

“Today nephrology stands at a critical crossroads,” Agarwal said. “The COVID-19 pandemic and sweeping movements to advocate for racial equality have brought into focus the need for us, all of us, to take the lead and shape our future.”

Agarwal made the remarks during the President’s Address at Kidney Week Reimagined 2020.

He urged nephrologists to take the lead in building a kidney care workforce; advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity in the field; and expanding innovation and collaboration. He set an