The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) has announced a collaboration with the Home Dialysis University (HDU) to improve nephrology trainees’ knowledge, proficiency, and exposure to home dialysis therapies. Through this new collaboration, ASN will provide up to 30 scholarships for selected fellows to attend an in-person HDU fellows training course while, in partnership with HDU, ASN will launch a new 12-month virtual educational program.
Home dialysis has been associated with lower cost and equal or better clinical outcomes than facility-based dialysis. It has been estimated that up to 85% of patients may be suitable to receive home dialysis. Yet, in 2019, only 12.6% of Medicare patients receiving dialysis underwent dialysis at home. Racial and ethnic minority populations have a disproportionately high risk of kidney failure. Despite this, minority populations are even less likely to be treated with home dialysis.
“Educating future nephrologists about home dialysis is foundational to ensuring all kidney failure patients have access to dialysis options that best fit their lives and needs”, said Michelle Josephson (University of Chicago, Chicago, USA), president of the ASN. “These are exciting times as ASN demonstrates its commitment to that effort by improving access to high quality home dialysis education for nephrology trainees. This collaboration between HDU and ASN represents a key initial step in that commitment.”
Nephrology trainees have long cited a lack of education and exposure to home haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis during training as a major educational gap. The ASN Task Force on the Future of Nephrology recommends providing additional education to close currently identified gaps in nephrology training, establishing individualised pathways to provide opportunities for fellows to explore advanced specialised care and other career goals in more depth, and prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as promoting health care justice in all aspects of nephrology, especially fellowship training.
“The faculty of HDU, all recognised as experts in home dialysis therapies, are passionate about educating physicians”, said Joel Glickman (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA), activity director at HDU. “Our primary goal, to have all nephrology fellows attend HDU, may become a reality because of our new collaboration with ASN.”
In July 2021, ASN formed a Home Dialysis Steering Committee to identify and prioritize gaps in training, education, and advocacy in home dialysis. Based on recommendations from the Steering Committee, and in alignment with priorities identified by the ASN Task Force on the Future of Nephrology, ASN recently entered into a Cooperative Agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish a pilot home dialysis course for nephrology fellows that offers training from respected leaders in home dialysis, followed by a 12-month virtual education program. Nephrology fellows can apply for an ASN travel support scholarship to attend HDU and the longitudinal series, here.