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Research Conference
The faculty conduct a formal research conference one to two times per month. The conference is designed to provide the nephrology fellows with the necessary guidance to conduct clinical research, including research design and methods. The conference also provides the fellows with a venue to learn the appropriate methods for ethical research practices.
Clinical Conference
The nephrology fellows present interesting cases and/or cases resulting in complications or death to a faculty moderator twice per month. The conference is conducted in an informal setting and provides a venue for the fellows to discuss adverse events and difficult cases and to provide suggestions for improvement in patient management.
Journal Club
The nephrology fellows present a formal conference to the faculty, visiting attendings, rotating internal medicine residents, and medical students twice/month. Journal Club is designed to enhance the nephrology fellow’s knowledge base and presentation skills. Residents typically select patient care issues that have arisen during their monthly rotations. The conference is mandatory for nephrology fellows, and all available nephrology faculty members are expected to attend as well. The fellows present articles from the current medical literature.

The following are examples of Journal Club presentations prepared by our fellows:

Renal Biopsy Conference
A renal pathologist presents a formal monthly conference to provide the nephrology fellows additional experience in interpreting renal pathology. The conference is designed to permit the residents to directly interpret slides in the presence of the faculty and renal pathologist and discuss pertinent findings. Pathology residents often attend this conference, providing multidisciplinary interactions between Pathology and Nephrology.
Transplant Biopsy Conference
The Transplant Team (consisting of surgeons, nephrologists, renal pathologist, fellow(s) and coordinators) meets twice each month to review and discuss transplant biopsies.  The conference is held in the pathology department and is designed to increase the fellows' transplant pathology interpretive skills under the guidance of the faculty and renal pathologist.
Morbidity and Mortality Conference
The nephrology fellows present cases to review adverse events, near-misses and medical errors that will enhance their medical education and improve patient safety. Root causes are identified to explain these events, and an action plan is developed. Follow-up occurs at subsequent conferences until resolution is achieved.
Medical Grand Rounds
The Department of Medicine at Allegheny General Hospital presents Medical Grand Rounds each week which the nephrology fellows and faculty are required to attend. Lectures are presented by nationally recognized experts and enhance the nephrology fellows’ internal medicine knowledge base. Topics include areas of general interest to both internists and subspecialists.
Multidisciplinary Conferences

  1. Patient Care Conference:  A multidisciplinary conference is conducted once each year for every dialysis outpatient. Nephrology subspecialty fellows are required to attend these meetings for each of their assigned dialysis panel patients. Attendees include: the nephrology faculty attending and nephrology fellow caring for the patient, nurse manager, renal dietitian, and renal social worker. Each patient’s care plan is discussed in detail and recommendations are made for improvements in quality of care.
  2. Transplant Conference:  A multidisciplinary conference is conducted each week. Attendees include: the nephrology faculty attending and nephrology fellow assigned to the Nephrology Transplant Service, transplant surgeons, a renal social worker, and transplant coordinators. A review of prospective recipients for transplant surgery (kidney, pancreas, or kidney/pancreas) takes place, and input is gathered from the various disciplines involved in the decision-making process. The conference allows the nephrology fellow to participate in the multi-disciplinary venue necessary to determine if patients qualify as potential transplant recipients.
  3. QA Conference:  A multidisciplinary Quality Assurance (Q.A.) conference is held monthly in the dialysis unit. Attendees include: medical director of the Outpatient Dialysis Unit, nephrology fellow assigned to the dialysis unit rotation, facility administrator, charge nurse, renal social worker, and renal dietitian. Quality assurance issues pertaining to the dialysis unit and patients are discussed in detail. Participation in the conference provides the nephrology fellow with an overview of the responsibilities of a dialysis unit medical director.


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