Elective Rotations for Residents and Clinical Fellows: Nephrology

Select 'Apply to REP' under Program-Specific Elements to apply to this rotation.

Four-Week Session

Elective Coordinators:
Dwayne Staton
Ciara Hoy
Sarah Kinchen

Elective Description

The Kidney Diseases Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) invites medical residents and fellows to participate in a four-week clinical elective rotation with the Nephrology Consult Service at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center (CC). The NIH Clinical Center is the nation's largest hospital devoted entirely to clinical research. Annually, around 5,000 inpatients are admitted to the CC and another 100,000 individuals are treated in outpatient clinics. These patients are part of research protocols and may have simple or complex renal problems related to or in addition to the disease or treatment under investigation. The Nephrology Consult Service provides comprehensive renal consultation services and renal replacement therapy care to any patient at the CC upon request from their research physicians.

The trainee will join the consult team and take part in the diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care of a wide spectrum of renal problems occurring in patients participating in research protocols throughout the clinical center.

At the NIH, specialized areas offering trainees unique clinical nephrology experiences include:

  • Onconephrology, which involves managing kidney complications arising from cancer, unconventional, and/or experimental chemotherapies.
  • Renal complications following bone marrow transplantation for a wide range of hematologic, autoimmune, and genetic disorders manifesting from either conditioning regime, graft versus host disease and/or infections following immunosuppression.
  • Management of lupus nephritis and other renal complications of auto-immune diseases.
  • Identify and manage renal manifestations of rare genetic disorders.
  • Renal complications following nephron-sparing surgery in the setting of rare renal cancer syndromes.

The rotation includes seeing patients in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. The site director is Dr. Jonathan Bolaños, MD. Trainees will work directly with the attendings, advanced practitioners, and nursing staff of the Kidney Diseases Branch. They will be present 5 days a week from Monday to Friday. Trainees will not take call at the Clinical Center and are free from clinical responsibilities on weekends and federal holidays. They will be able to engage in conferences, journal clubs, renal rounds, and multidisciplinary pathology rounds, where kidney biopsies are collaboratively reviewed by a diverse array of subject matter experts from various specialties and scientific backgrounds. These experts represent a dynamic assortment of NIH institutes and centers, providing a rich learning environment across unique fields and disciplines.

  • Presentations
    One of the unique features about NIH is the tremendous breadth of science, policy, ethics, and general interest seminars and presentations offered throughout the year. In addition, trainees will attend and present at the weekly Clinical Center Nephrology Renal Rounds. Trainees will be expected to give a 30-45 min presentation on a topic of their choice during one journal club or case conference.

  • Supervision Policy
    Trainees will be directly supervised by the attending nephrologist assigned for the rotation. Work hour restrictions will be followed as per current Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) guidelines.

For intellectually curious individuals eager to broaden their understanding of the vibrant NIH environment, this rotation offers a fantastic opportunity to complement their training at a research hospital. In addition, by experiencing the life and work of physician-scientists firsthand and gaining front-row exposure to high-quality, world-renowned clinical research, trainees can explore the potential for a career in research.

Overall Goals

Trainees will acquire knowledge in the work-up, differential diagnosis and management of acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, electrolyte disturbances, renal stones, proteinuria, acid-base disorders, hypertension, and a wide range of common and uncommon kidney diseases. Furthermore, they will develop an understanding of diagnostic tools and therapeutic modalities used in renal patient care, such as urinary sediment examination and interpretation, kidney biopsies and various kidney replacement therapies including hemodialysis and Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT).


  • Jonathan A. Bolaños, M.D., Director, nephrology elective rotation
  • Meryl Waldman, M.D., Senior Research Physician
  • Behdad (Ben) Afzali, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P., Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator
  • Anirban Ganguli, M.D., M.Sc., Assistant Research Physician
  • Gregory G. Germino, M.D., Acting Chief, Kidney Diseases Branch, Deputy Director NIDDK
  • Vanessa Sanders, CRNP, nephrology

Eligibility Requirements

Residents or fellows must currently be enrolled, and in good standing, in an ACGME-accredited internal medicine or IM/pediatric residency and a PGY-2 or PGY-3 or be enrolled in an ACGME-accredited nephrology fellowship training program in the United States at the time of application. Foreign medical school graduates, in addition to the above, must have ECFMG certification. A maximum of one resident or fellow will be scheduled for each four-week period during the year. Please note, applications MUST be submitted a minimum of three (3) months in advance of the proposed elective rotation start date.

A Program Letter of Agreement will be concerted between the trainee’s parent program and NIH.

Selected applicants are required to have malpractice/liability coverage provided by their training program or sponsoring institution for the duration of the elective period.

Selection of Applicants

Applicants will be selected based on review of the resident's credentials and cover letter, which should outline their rationale and goals for the rotation. Only one resident or fellow will be allowed per session. Availability is limited. This is a highly specialized rotation providing clinical nephrology consult service support to the NIH Clinical Center. Selection of applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Vacation or other elective leave requests during the rotation are strongly discouraged.

All applicants will be expected to provide COVID-19 vaccination verification.

Living and Financial Arrangements

At present, no living quarters are available on the NIH campus. Trainees will be responsible for making their own travel and living arrangements. No stipend and/or financial compensation is being offered at this time.

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This page last updated on 06/21/2023

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