Department of Medicine

Nephrology Fellowship Didactic Curriculum

Media Component

We currently host 75 percent of our didactic conferences virtually. This allows trainees at different pavilions to join more easily. We have at least one hands-on, in-person workshop each month. This includes time in the simulation lab, urinalysis interpretation, ultrasonography, a dietician-led taste test, and a communications workshop.

The Wednesday 12:15 p.m. fellows’ didactic lecture series is the seminal educational platform for our fellowship program. There are no outpatient clinics scheduled on this day, permitting all faculty and fellows to dedicate this time to education. We divide the academic year into 22 two-week content blocks, for example, kidney transplantation, glomerular disease, or physiology. Each block features an outstanding section or guest lecturers along with an internal quiz to assess knowledge. Each block includes assigned reading material which is discussed during the monthly Program Directors meeting.

Our fellows take five examinations throughout the year to assess knowledge. One of these examinations is the In-Training Examination (ITE) sponsored by the American Society of Nephrology. In both 2016 and 2018, one fellow from our program had the highest score in the nation. Each year, our fellows collectively score at or above the national mean.

Didactic Schedule - At a Glance




Transplant Pathology Case Conference (weekly; 12:15 p.m.)

Seminars in Evidence Based Medicine (weekly; 4:30 p.m.)

Tough Beans Case Conference (monthly; 4:30 p.m.)


Fellows Didactics (weekly, 12:15 p.m.)

City-Wide Renal Grand Rounds (weekly, 1:30 p.m.)


Board Review (monthly; noon)

Chapter Assessment Program Director (monthly; 4:30 p.m.)


Bayou Beans Journal Club (monthly; noon)


Institution Wide Grand Rounds


Baylor College of Medicine and Houston Methodist Hospital Renal Grand Rounds - This is a weekly one-hour formal seminar held EVERY Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at the Houston Methodist Bluebird Auditorium. A wide range of mainly clinical topics are presented by invited local and outside faculty, often nationally and internationally renowned scientists

Medical Grand Rounds - These one-hour sessions are held on Thursdays at noon at the M112 Auditorium, Baylor College of Medicine. Formal presentations are given by local as well as national and internationally recognized faculty, periodically members of our section are invited to speak.




Kidney Pathology Conferences - There are six hours of dedicated pathology lectures each month. The first Wednesday of each month, as part of our Renal Grand Rounds series, is the Kidney Biopsy Case Presentation. In addition, we host a monthly conference with the UT-Houston fellowship program. Finally, there is a weekly kidney transplant pathology conference during the Houston Methodist rotation. In all conferences, our fellows prepare the case history and discussion of a patient in which he or she performed the biopsy or worked-up the patient. The nephropathologist aids with the interpretation of the biopsy. The goal of this conference is to learn how to interpret renal biopsies and correlate the clinical and pathological findings. This conference also provides a useful forum to exchange innovative ideas. It is well attended by local nephrologists in academics and private practice.

Clinicopathological Conferences - Once a month, the grand rounds are a one-hour CPC in which the invited speaker (and the audience) must deduce the differential diagnosis for an anonymous patient. Faculty forum the Section of Nephrology discusses two CPCs annually.

Nephrology Board Review - There is a dedicated monthly board review conferences on the third Thursday each month. We have designated content experts on each subject, who will periodically test the fellows’ knowledge with prizes for the winner!

Tough Beans Monthly Case Conference - This is a forum to discuss interesting non-biopsy Nephrology teaching cases. This is once monthly online conference led by Dr. Jingyin Yan. The conference is for all faculty, fellows, and fellowship alumni. It was a new conference for 2020-21 academic year and is a great way to connect with graduates.

Research Meeting and Research Projects - This is a one-hour session on Tuesday at 3 p.m. with the purpose of reviewing the ongoing research of a faculty, fellow or postdoc in the lab. This is a form to present ideas for critique or discussion, or ongoing research.

Monthly CAPD Meeting - CAPD = Chapter Assessment & Program Director. On the last Thursday of each month, fellows and director meet confidentially to discuss assigned chapters from the Primer on Kidney Disease and acute issues with the training program or specific rotations. Lunch is provided.

Difficult Conversations in Kidney Disease - This is a quarterly workshop facilitated by Dr. Walter Baile (Psychiatry, MD Anderson) and Dr. Maulin Shah which teaches our trainees how to lead challenging conversations such as 'discussing initiation of dialysis' and ' facilitating withdrawal of care.' Participants find the experience, "extremely worthwhile!"



Nephrology Division Educational Seminars


Transplant Seminar - This is a joint seminar series with the Houston Methodist Transplant service EVERY Monday at noon. Cases are discussed in a multidisciplinary board. Lunch is provided.

Seminars in Evidence Based Nephrology - This journal club is held weekly, in the same time slot as the Tough Beans conference. Fellows and faculty take turns discussing landmark Nephrology articles with a focus on the statistical methodology. The conference also includes Morbidity and Mortality and Quality Improvement discussions. We host a twice yearly internal Jeopardy Competition – go Faculty! Dr. Carl Walther and Parker Gregg pair this weekly conference with monthly online quizzes teaching evidence-based medicine for trainees. Nephrology faculty, including Dr. Paul Klotman, present yearly.




**In addition to the above listed formal conferences, a series of introductory lectures are given at the beginning of the academic year on dialysis, transplantation and the care of renal emergencies.