Who is a Nephrologist? (Steps, Salary, How To, FAQs)

Nephrologists play a key role in the medical field. These professionals assess and treat kidney diseases.

Nephrology is a difficult medical specialty that requires a high level of skill and technical expertise.

To decide if it is the right career path for you, you have to acquire knowledge of what nephrologists do.

This post will discuss the job description of nephrologists, how you can become a nephrologist, the average salary of nephrologists, and other important pieces of information about this specialty.

What Is A Nephrologist?

Nephrologists are medical doctors who focus on the treatment of kidney diseases. These experts perform their responsibilities in collaboration with other medical professionals.

Nephrologists discuss with patients to identify what is really wrong with them, conduct in-depth evaluations of diseases, and find out how it has damaged the kidney.

Nephrologists also come up with treatment plans that will enable patients to recover accordingly and make recommendations on dialysis treatment.

Nephrology remains one of the most advanced medical specialties in the world.

Steps For Becoming A Nephrologist

You can become a nephrologist by following the steps below:

1. Acquire a bachelor’s degree

To become a nephrologist, you must, first of all, acquire a bachelor’s degree in a science-related field.

Some of the science fields that are highly recommended for aspiring nephrologists are biology, chemistry, and even nursing.

A bachelor’s degree will enable you to secure admission into a medical school. You can complete a bachelor’s degree in four years.

2. Enroll in medical school

Once you complete a bachelor’s degree, apply to study at a medical school immediately. It will take you four years to complete medical school.

However, besides a bachelor’s degree in a science-related program, other requirements for medical school are a high school diploma, a minimum GPA of 3.0, a great TOEFL language score, letters of recommendation, a good record of extracurricular activity engagement, and a good MCAT exam score.

Moreover, some schools can ask for a resume as well as a personal statement.

In medical school, the first two years are fully dedicated to theoretical learning.

Following that, you will use the next two years to engage in practical learning and gain field experience thanks to a number of clinical rotations carried out under the supervision of licensed doctors.

3. Finish a residency

Immediately after completing medical school, enroll in a residency program.

As an aspiring nephrologist, you are mandated to enroll in a residency in internal medicine.

You can complete a medical residency in three years.

Over the course of a residency, you will learn how to conduct medical evaluations, establish medical treatment plans, and conduct surgery.

A medical residency is done at either a clinic or a hospital.

All the tasks you perform in the course of your internship will be done under the supervision of a seasoned medical practitioner.

4. Complete a fellowship

If you want to become a nephrologist, you must complete an expert training program known as a fellowship at the end of your medical residency.

This can be done in two to three years.

A fellowship will enable you to acquire in-depth knowledge of this medical specialty.

You will learn about what the kidneys do, how kidney diseases are managed, and how operations are conducted.

Enrolling in a fellowship will also enable you to pick a subsection that you want to concentrate on.

5. Sit for the nephrology certificate exam

To acquire a certification to practice as a nephrologist, you must take and pass the nephrology certificate exam.

This 8-hour-long exam focuses on several areas of nephrology and medicine as a whole.

The nephrology certificate exam questions emanate from topics such as kidney injury and care, hypertension, cystic disorders, and several other topics.

This test will evaluate your knowledge of nephrology, clinical assessment, and diagnostic reasoning.

How Much Do Nephrologists Make?

According to research, nephrologists make about $240,000 in salaries every year. However, this salary can either decrease or increase based on level of experience, sub-specialty, place of work, and knowledge.

How To Earn Excellent Grades In Medical School

It is impossible for you to become a nephrologist if you don’t do well in medical school.

Thus, follow these tips to improve your chances of getting through medical school:

1. Attend class on a consistent basis

It’s crucial that you don’t miss classes in medical school.

By being present in class, you will greatly improve your learning and retention of the material covered.

Moreover, your chances of succeeding academically will decrease dramatically if you do not participate in class.

However, ensure that you turn in all your assignments on time.

2. Make a plan for how you will use your study time

Don’t forget to review the notes for each class every single day. By doing this, you will not forget what you actually learned that day.

Moreover, use mock exams as a learning tool, as they can be of immense help.

For instance, you will get to assess areas that you still need to study deeply and visualize the types of questions you can expect so that you can come up with the right technique to attempt them.

3. Always know your limitations

Sometimes you can have a poor grade on a subject that you prepared well for.

Don’t let a bad grade in any class get you down.

Rather, you should work hard to improve yourself and ignore your weaknesses, while working towards correcting what might have gone wrong.

Those who succeed in medical school are the ones who refuse to give up.

4. You need to schedule regular meetings with your advisor

If you’re enrolled in medical school, you’ll probably be assigned to work with a professor or advisor who can assist you in developing and maintaining a study plan.

Make the most of your chances and use all the help you can obtain.

5. Take part in a group study

Form a study group with other students and commit to reading for a set amount of time each week.

Being a part of a reading group is a great way to keep from procrastinating and to get questions answered about anything you might not fully grasp.

Also, by studying in a group, you can gain valuable teamwork experience and sharpen your problem-solving skills.

You will also get a thorough understanding of the material covered in class.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On A Nephrologist

What are the disorders that a nephrologist treats?

A nephrologist treats the following kidney diseases: glomerulonephritis, amyloidosis, hypertension, and electrolyte disorders.

Are nephrologists the same as urologists?

No, nephrologists are different from urologists. While nephrologists treat kidney disorders, urologists treat diseases that affect the urinary tract.

What is another name for nephrologists?

Nephrologists are also known as “kidney doctors” because they treat disorders affecting the kidney.

How do nephrologists assess patients?

Doctors who work with kidneys look at a patient’s medical records and do a physical exam to find out how well the kidneys are working.


Nephrology is one of the highest-paying medical specialties in the world.

This article has carefully gone through the process that will enable you to become a nephrologist.

However, ensure that you apply the tips listed above to do well in medical school.

Moreover, to excel as a nephrologist, possess the following skills: teamwork, empathy, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, organization, and emotional intelligence.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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Abasiofon Fidelis
Abasiofon Fidelis

Abasiofon Fidelis is a professional writer who loves to write about college life and college applications. He has been writing articles for over 3 years. He is the Content Manager at School and Travel.

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