Renal Pathology Fellowship
The renal pathology fellowship program at Arkana is a concentrated training experience designed to prepare each fellow to be a well-rounded academic renal pathologist.
The Arkana renal pathology fellowship is a one-year program designed to train a well-rounded academic renal pathologist. Our program does not involve a clinical fellowship in renal pathology but focuses on diagnostic renal pathology with firsthand experience with lab imaging.
There are three major objectives for the year of training. First and foremost, we will foster an environment in which every trainee can become an expert in diagnostic renal pathology. Second, you will learn how to develop a research project, write a manuscript, and navigate the peer-reviewed medical literature submissions process. Finally, we work with you to refine your presentation skills, which we believe is an important part of preparing for a career as a renal pathologist.
Faculty and Facilities
Arkana provides unparalleled resources for training you to become an expert in diagnostic renal pathology. We process more than 20,000 medical kidney biopsies every year (native and transplant) and employ 17 renal pathologists, all with different training backgrounds. Many of our renal pathology fellows have found their home at Arkana and choose to pursue their career at one of the largest renal pathology facilities in the country. Additionally, we have a vast archive of biopsies to learn from. We frequently host visitors including nephrology and pathology trainees from around the world, and interact with our clinical colleagues daily through teleconferences and biopsy result calls. These resources will provide the necessary material to become an expert in diagnostic renal pathology; however, we recognize that this process begins with the basics. To that end, we provide books and medical literature in order to develop a thorough understanding of the lesions which can be seen in medical kidney disease.
The Diagnostic Renal Pathology Process
Early in the year, our reading program will be supplemented with two months of one-on-one, over-the-scope teaching sessions. In addition, you will be asked to review and present a differential renal pathology diagnosis for cases presented at our daily consensus conference. You will progress to independent evaluation and diagnosis of cases (with review by the staff pathologists) so that by the end of the year you will be evaluating and developing a report for five renal biopsies on a daily basis. Independent case evaluation will gradually increase from one case to five per day, and is dictated by your comfort level and how well you are progressing in our renal pathology program. Most of our fellows end up being an integral part of the workup for more than 1000 kidney biopsies by the end of the year. The unique workflow at Arkana enables a renal biopsy to be read from start to finish, including IHC and EM, in one day so that cases do not carry over. We have found that this process facilitates rapid learning for our trainees on how to algorithmically work through a renal biopsy diagnosis. Additionally, the staff will supplement these cases with the most interesting and difficult biopsies that come through the service on a daily basis. This gives you, the renal pathology fellow, the experience of seeing routine cases in your daily sign out while not missing the benefits of the plethora of other cases that come through our laboratory from more than 45 states in the US as well as international cases. Additional learning experiences include renal biopsy conferences with clinicians, journal club, and a comprehensive renal biopsy study set. For those interested, interfacing with the molecular lab to learn about our renal molecular diagnostics is also a possibility. The combination of independent review and evaluation of each day’s most interesting biopsies is certain to prepare you for any renal biopsy you might encounter after training at our renal pathology facility.
It is important for a renal pathologist to be able to design and carry out academic research. Projects will be catered as much as possible to match your interest. Options include everything from working on translational projects with hands-on bench experience to classic clinical case series and a renal pathology research paper. The staff will guide you through the process of research from the initial idea, correct experimental design, data collection and analysis, abstract and manuscript preparation, and finally submission to a national meeting and peer-reviewed journal for publication. These projects can be developed utilizing the vast renal biopsy archive on-site as well as the resources of the Arkana Biorepository. This research experience will build your CV and enable you to engage in research activities upon completion of the renal pathology fellowship.
Developing Communication Skills
Honing your didactic presentation skills is an important objective of the Arkana training experience. There are multiple renal pathologists in our group with a passion for teaching who believe that every trainee can refine his/her skills toward becoming an excellent presenter. These skills will be sharpened through presentations at departmental grand rounds-type conferences, patient care teleconferences, and journal clubs.
The fellowship is designed to maximize learning and minimize extraneous “scut work” without educational value. We will provide the atmosphere and necessary equipment for success including a private office and microscope equipped with digital photography capabilities and immunofluorescence. You are welcome to work on projects on the weekend but there is no weekend on-call responsibility in the renal pathology fellowship year. We encourage and cover expenses for you to attend both the ASN and the USCAP meetings. We also promise a supportive and warm environment that we genuinely hope you will enjoy being a part of. You are expected to provide passion and a self-motivated attitude for learning the skills outlined above. We are confident that by the end of the year you will be well prepared and ready to immediately step into a full-time renal pathology position. We are supportive of our fellows by utilizing our networks to identify opportunities that fit their desired career. Additionally, for those outstanding renal pathology fellows with desire and interest, the opportunity to be considered for a position at Arkana is available following successful completion of the fellowship training.
For as hard as they work each day to serve patients across the country, our physician team always finds time to have fun.