It’s no secret that the number of nephrologists nearing retirement is growing while the number of new physicians who are choosing to specialize in nephrology is shrinking. Combine that with the ever-increasing number of CKD patients in the United States and it can sound like a scary story.


There’s not a whole lot that we can do to change the minds of physicians in training and make the specialty of nephrology more appealing to them. Instead, the nephrology community should embrace this new dynamic and find new solutions to still support those patients in need of kidney care. Enter non-physician providers (NP’s and PA’s) and medical assistants.


You may be wondering why we’re telling you that you should consider hiring a team to support you, especially if you haven’t even entered a practice yet. We initially thought it was a stretch to cover this topic, too. But then we realized that those of you who are in training will soon become the leaders of this community and we want to empower you with innovative ideas that may help propel your future practices further.


Thinking about adding a medical assistant, nurse practitioner or physicians’ assistant to your team can be instrumental to the future success of your practice. Nephrology (along with almost every other medical specialty) is trying to figure out how to optimize physician time and billing. For example, a PA or NP can manage the majority of a nephrologist’s dialysis rounding duties.* A medical assistant can help make sure lab results are in the patients’ medical record. Imagine how this support could help you have more time to see patients!


One of our colleagues at Nephrology Practice Solutions, Donna Reesman, has provided insight into how a Medical Assistant specifically can help in supporting nephrology practices. Before Donna came to NPS, she spent many years as a Nurse Practitioner at a large Nephrology practice so she brings a wealth of experience about practice operations, how to optimize hiring, and scheduling to operate a successful nephrology practice. Watch her video to learn more.


If you have further questions on this topic, we would love to hear from you! Email us at fellowshipoutreach@davita.com for more information or to share your thoughts with us on the topic!

*Regulations vary state to state. Please check with your state to determine what responsibilities a PA or NP can take on in your state.