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Program Overview

The University of Pennsylvania Fellowship program accepts eight fellows each year. Applicants are invited to apply to a two-year clinical track and a three-year research track.  Both the clinical and research tracks provide exposure to all aspects of nephrology and both strive to create a learning environment that allows trainees to succeed while in fellowship and also prepares them for functioning as a nephrologist upon graduation.

The program allows fellows to gain skills in inpatient and outpatient settings in an academic setting. Our three training locations are located within walking distance. Training locations include The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), the primary teaching hospital for trainees, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (PPMC), and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center (PVAMC). Each of these sites provides a diverse clinical experience spanning the spectrum of clinical nephrology, with division faculty at each site dedicated to medical education and scholarship. In addition, advanced fellowships in transplant nephrology and glomerular disease and onconephrology are offered upon completion of the clinical program.

Education is our top priority. Our program is defined by fellows’ experiential learning in both inpatient and outpatient settings. In addition, didactic and case-based conferences allow for active participation from fellow to faculty level. Our program also provides simulation experience for both patient-centered encounters and for procedural experience with biopsies and nontunneled dialysis catheter placement. Our fellows become skilled in performance of native and transplant kidney biopsies and in the histopathologic interpretation of kidney biopsies, alongside our renal pathology team.

Our program also emphasizes scholarship. Faculty mentors provide guidance in scholarship and career building. The vast majority of our fellows become involved in research projects that can be fellow derived or faculty led. Our program also recognizes that trainee wellness is an important aspect of a healthy learning environment. We encourage our fellows to take an active role in shaping the program for future trainees.

Unique Program Features

Dialysis Experience

Our fellows are exposed to all modalities of outpatient dialysis through clinical experience, didactic lectures, and a single day intensive home dialysis training session, open to all fellows in the region. The University of Pennsylvania nephrology division is a leader in the field of home dialysis, caring for approximately 100 patients on peritoneal dialysis and many on home hemodialysis. 

Subspecialty Experience

The Division of Nephrology at Penn has expertise in several areas of nephrology, including glomerular diseases, onconephrology, complex hypertension, nephrolithiasis, polycystic kidney disease, and palliative care nephrology. During the second year, fellows have dedicated exposure to one or more of these subspecialty clinics, which can help foster scholarship and/or additional training plans.

Transplant Experience

The University of Pennsylvania consistently ranks as the most active transplant program in the region. Since the program’s first kidney transplant in 1966, Penn transplant surgeons have performed over 4500 kidney transplants. The fellowship program incorporates the required transplant experience into the first and second year schedule, with rotations in both inpatient and outpatient transplant

Point-of-Care Ultrasound

Fellows have the opportunity to have hands-on experience through a well-developed point-of-care ultrasound curriculum that is embedded into the clinical workflow of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital system at all levels, from medical school to fellowship training.

Advanced Training

The University of Pennyslvania offers two advanced fellowships, including a one-year Transplant Nephrology fellowship and a one-year Glomerular Disease & Onconephrology fellowship.  After completion of the general nephrology program, fellows are invited to apply for these fellowship opportunities.

Measey Medical Education Fellowship

Second year fellows can apply to this fellowship, sponsored by the Department of Medicine, which prepares fellows for a future role as a medical educator. During this 1-year program, fellows work with colleagues from other specialties to develop their skills as effective teachers and leaders.

Focus on Education

The program is committed to providing a strong learning environment with an emphasis on development through clinical exposure, both guided and self-directed learning, and self-reflection and improvement. Fellows are active participants in all aspects of the educational mission at Penn, including conferences, outpatient clinics, and inpatient services. The variety of patient acuity and pathology encountered in each of the three teaching hospitals allows for one of the best training environments. Fellows are guaranteed to see nearly all renal pathology during their training tenure.

Fellowship Administration:

Amanda Leonberg-Yoo, MD, MS
Training Program Director, Nephrology Fellowship Program
Primary Location:  Penn Presbyterian Medical Center & The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 

Jehan Bahrainwala, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Nephrology Fellowship Program
Primary Location:  Penn Presbyterian Medical Center 

Rachel Hilburg, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Nephrology Fellowship Program
Primary Location:  Penn Presbyterian Medical Center 

Laura Watabu
Nephrology Fellowship Coordinator
University of Pennsylvania, Division of Nephrology 





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