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    Topf JM, et al. The evolution of the journal club: From Osler to Twitter. Am J Kidney Dis 2017; 69:827836. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2016.12.012

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    Khashu S, et al. Utility of semi-private messaging application (WhatsApp®) for onconephrology education: A qualitative analysis of a ‘mastermind’ chat. Clin Kidney J 2021; 15:834838. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfab28

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Onconephrology and Nontraditional Media Education

  • 1 Mohamed E. Elrggal, MD, is a Consultant of Nephrology with the Kidney and Urology Center and Head of the Nephrology Department with Qabbary Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt. Mohammed Abdel Gawad, MD, is with the Nephrology Unit, School of Medicine, Newgiza University (NGU), Giza, Egypt.
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The field of onconephrology has recently begun to take shape, and thus, education aimed at onconephrology is still evolving. Importantly, onconephrology was galvanized in the age of social media; thus, non-traditional media is playing a pivotal role in shaping education in onconephrology. For example, the American Society of Onconephrology (ASON) was largely materialized by a group of nephrologists all over the world using WhatsApp to discuss and share cases and forge research collaborations.

The first textbook devoted solely to onconephrology topics was published in 2005 (1) and subsequently, two additional in 2015 (2) and 2019 (

The field of onconephrology has recently begun to take shape, and thus, education aimed at onconephrology is still evolving. Importantly, onconephrology was galvanized in the age of social media; thus, non-traditional media is playing a pivotal role in shaping education in onconephrology. For example, the American Society of Onconephrology (ASON) was largely materialized by a group of nephrologists all over the world using WhatsApp to discuss and share cases and forge research collaborations.

The first textbook devoted solely to onconephrology topics was published in 2005 (1) and subsequently, two additional in 2015 (2) and 2019 (3). In addition, the Journal of Onco-Nephrology was created in 2017, which represents a reliable source for onconephrology education. However, these forms of traditional media have taken a backseat to free open access medical education (FOAMed) in the last decade.

The first ASN Kidney Week session devoted to onconephrology was held in 2009. This was followed by the first pre-course in 2013 and yearly onconephrology symposia at various US centers thereafter. Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) held its first onconephrology meeting in 2018. Findings presented at these meetings were best disseminated when the meeting policy allowed the audience to “live tweet” and share lectures’ contents.

Social media has revolutionized knowledge sharing and education in nephrology, including onconephrology, over the last decade (4). The use of tools, such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Slack, and others, has enhanced knowledge exchange, promoted education, and encouraged global collaboration and research (5). Moreover, visual abstracts, videos, podcasts, and spaces have provided more social media engagement than text alone (6). In addition, interactive events, such as online journal clubs, help to disseminate recent advances in medicine (7), and interactive online educational games and online mentorship programs generate interest in the nephrology specialty.

The onconephrology specialty made the best use of FOAMed tools. The interest and education in this field have flourished using social media tools. For example, searching Twitter, using the hashtag #onconeph or #onconephrology, will direct you to hundreds of tweets and tweetorials discussing cases, new articles, webinar slides, and conference materials. Blogs, such as American Journal of Kidney Diseases (AJKD) Blog, Renal Fellow Network, and NephSIM, contain articles, quizzes, and featured contents specifically for onconephrology. YouTube channels, such as GlomCon and others, contain recorded videos discussing various aspects of onconephrology. Podcasts, such as “Checkpoint NOW,” are available for listening and learning anytime. See Table 1 for a complete list of available FOAMed tools and links.

Table 1

FOAMed tools in onconephrology

Table 1

As the field emerges with a limited number of practicing onconephrologists at present, social media tools are needed and are already helping to connect onconephrologists across the globe and to promote education and collaboration. A recent study found that WhatsApp semi-private messaging in a private onconephrology group led to an overall positive learning experience (8).

Hopefully, onconephrology is ripe for more educational innovations in the future. An online onconephrology game, such as NephMadness, can be a great way to increase interest in the subspecialty. An online onconephrology YouTube channel may further increase the learning experience for those interested in the field, and an online certificate in onconephrology is not far from reality. Moreover, education can be expanded to provide additional mentoring to trainees who may aspire to virtual fellowship and training.

References

  • 1.

    Levallois J, Leblanc M. Acute renal failure in cancer patients. In Cancer and the Kidney: The Frontier of Nephrology and Oncology, 2nd ed. (Cohen EP, ed.) 2017; Chapter 9, pp. 134. https://oxfordmedicine.com/view/10.1093/med/9780199580194.001.0001/med-9780199580194-chapter-009

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Jhaveri KD, Salahudeen AK, eds. Onconephrology: Cancer, Chemotherapy and the Kidney 2015; pp. 1366.

  • 3.

    Finkel KW, et al. Onco-Nephrology, 1st ed. 2019; pp. 1368.

  • 4.

    Colbert GB, et al. The social media revolution in nephrology education. Kidney Int Rep 2018; 3:519529. doi: 10.1016/j.ekir.2018.02.003

  • 5.

    Pandya A, et al. Use of semiprivate smartphone communication applications in nephrology education. Semin Nephrol 2020; 40:303308. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2020.04.010

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Ibrahim AM. Seeing is believing: Using visual abstracts to disseminate scientific research. Am J Gastroenterol 2018; 113:459461. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2017.268

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Topf JM, et al. The evolution of the journal club: From Osler to Twitter. Am J Kidney Dis 2017; 69:827836. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2016.12.012

  • 8.

    Khashu S, et al. Utility of semi-private messaging application (WhatsApp®) for onconephrology education: A qualitative analysis of a ‘mastermind’ chat. Clin Kidney J 2021; 15:834838. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfab28

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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