Sunday, July 27, 2014

cJASN is building an open access renal physiology text book

One of the surprising things about nephrology fellowship is how far separated renal physiology is from the day to day work of nephrologists is. Kind of by definition we are called in when the kidneys aren't working so we don't get normal physiology thrown in our face. But that doesn't mean we don't need to know it. One of the important jobs of the nephrologist is to keep this knowledge alive and be experts in the internal workings of the kidney. I am a disciple of of Burton Rose, others carry the generation before me used Brenner and Rector and before that Guyton and before that Homer Smith. Who will the next generation of nephrologists look to enlighten them in the ways of the kidney?

CJASN is making the argument that they will. Mark L. Zeidel, Melanie P. Hoenig, and Paul M. Palevsky have started a renal physiology course that is open access and will come serially every month like Dickinson novel.

Take a look at the editorial describing the project and the first chapter which is just an introduction to the main course. The introduction is the subject of this month's eJC. Here is what I wrote in their forums:
I am so excited about this series. Fellowship application season is upon us and I have already heard rumblings that this year will be even worse than the devastating match results from 2014.  
The work-force task group from the ASN has been focusing on developing nephrology mentors to increase interest in nephrology. This is a great idea, but the mentor that inspired me to become a nephrologist was not made of flesh and blood but of ink and pulp. 
I am a nephrologist because I was inspired by the brilliant prose of Burton Rose in the yellow edition of Clinical Physiology of Acid Base and Electrolyte Disorders. But times have changed and residents no longer read books. I applaud this series and hope it will serve as a contemporary inspiration for medical students and residents to pursue the noble and fascinating field of nephrology. 
I also tip my hat to the editors of CJASN for making the series open access. A resource this valuable should be shared with the world.  

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