Training and Curriculum

Program Overview

To complement our common core pediatric nephrology curricula, we tailor training plans that are developed to meet the individual needs and goals of each fellow. Duke University is a world-class tertiary care medical center with renowned faculty and staff encompassing all disciplines of medicine and science. Importantly, we serve a diverse patient population and foster an encouraging clinical and academic learning environment that will prepare fellows to care for the spectrum of pediatric kidney disorders.

  • Positions offered per year: One
  • Program duration: Three years
  • Accrediting body: Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
  • Match participation?: Yes

Clinical Training

During the first year, the pediatric nephrology fellow has primary responsibility for managing the inpatient team and consult service. The fellow directly supervises the pediatric residents and medical students on the Nephrology elective. Rounds are made with experienced faculty on a daily basis. To complement this comprehensive inpatient experience, the fellow will also participate in our robust outpatient program including their own continuity clinic as well as clinics in fields spanning general nephrology, dialysis, transplant, chronic kidney disease, hypertension with ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, SLE, tuberous sclerosis, outreach and urology. It is during this year that the fellow acquires the majority of the clinical skills and expertise required to practice effectively and independently. The fellow also will start to develop a research interest and hone their grant writing skills. 

During the second and third years, the fellow spends 80% of their time in research and 20% in clinical duties. These duties are intentionally reduced to allow focus on academic endeavors. Fellows continue to maintain their continuity clinic during second and third years. While on service, fellows are afforded increased autonomy appropriate with their level of training so that they may build on their independent practice skills.

Year 1

Unit Description
Orientation 2 weeks of orientation with one on one introductory lectures from faculty members.
Inpatient 6 months of Pediatric Nephrology service divided into 1-2 week blocks

4 months of outpatient clinics with each faculty member and specialty nephrology clinics; divided into 1-2 week blocks

One half-day pediatric nephrology continuity fellow clinic per week
Urology 3 weeks of urology elective time
Research During your outpatient and urology elective you will have time to meet with research mentors and begin developing mentored reach project
Night Call Monday through Friday; on average 1:3 weeks with an attending nephrology physician
Weekend Call Friday through Monday; on average 1:3 weeks with an attending nephrology physician

Year 2 and 3

Unit Description
Inpatient 2 months of Pediatric Nephrology service divided into 1-2 week blocks

One half-day pediatric nephrology continuity fellow clinic per week

One day Dialysis clinic per month

1-2 quarter day Nephrology Transplant clinic per month

1 half day combined Lupus clinic every 1-2 months
Dialysis Elective 1 week of outpatient dialysis in either 2nd or 3rd year
Research 10 months dedicated to Fellow’s mentored research projects
Night Call Monday through Friday; on average 1:4 weeks with an attending nephrology physician
Weekend call Friday through Monday; on average 1:4 weeks with an attending nephrology physician

Research Program

The primary focus of the second and third years is research. Fellows are expected to develop a research program of their choosing in either the basic, translational, or clinical sciences, in collaboration with a faculty mentor. The division faculty have diverse expertise in a variety of research areas as described in the Faculty (link to faculty) section. Additionally, our division works in a highly collaborative atmosphere which allows fellows to also explore research interests outside of the division including Adult nephrologyPediatric urologyPediatric Rheumatology, and Abdominal Transplant Surgery. At Duke, we foster an environment of collaboration, learning, and discovery. We provide a core research curriculum and educational opportunities that will prepare the fellow to become an independent investigator.

Below are the numerous training grant opportunities at Duke that you will be mentored successfully to apply for and obtain:

Mentoring Program

A mentoring committee will be identified for all incoming first-year Pediatric Nephrology fellows comprised of two members from the Nephrology Division and two faculty members from other divisions within the Department of Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Biostatistics, Population Health, or Surgery. The committee will be developed in cooperation with the Fellow-In-Training, Pediatric Nephrology Division Chief, and Faculty. Research mentors will be assigned based on the trainee's specific clinical and academic interests, personal and professional goals, and previous research experience. Mentors will be identified based on a proven record of investigative, educational, and clinical excellence. One faculty member of the mentorship committee will be designated committee chair and will take a leadership role in assuring that the committee operates productively and is of appreciable benefit to the Fellow-In-Training.


There are several opportunities for structured learning offered on a regular basis.  Fellows are provided protected time to attend these learning sessions.

Weekly Monthly

Pediatric Nephrology Core Curriculum

  • We have a weekly rotating schedule:
    • didactic lectures, instructive cases, journal club, PREP question review, transplant case review, and research review.
  • Fellows have the opportunity to lead an educational session on average once a month.
Lupus Conference

Pediatric Research Core Curriculum

  • A weekly research curriculum dedicated to all pediatric fellows through the department of pediatrics
Pediatric Uroradiology Conference
Pediatric Grand Rounds Nephropathology Conference (every 2 months)
Nephrology Grand Rounds Pediatric Dialysis Interdisciplinary meeting
Adult Nephrology Journal Club (optional) Pediatric Abdominal Transplant M&M
Adult Nephrology Core Curriculum (optional) Pediatric Kidney Transplant Selection Committee Meeting

In addition to the learning sessions listed above, fellows are welcome to avail themselves of a variety of additional conferences and educational programs provided through Duke.