What is a nephrologist?

A nephrologist is a physician that predominantly deals with the kidney.

A nephrologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the kidneys. The training an individual completes to become a nephrologist includes:

  • four years of medical school
  • three years of post-medical school training to become board certified in internal medicine
  • an additional two years or more of training in nephrology, studying kidney diseases and their effects on other organs and the body as a whole
  • pediatric nephrologists, who treat kidney diseases in children and adolescents, may sit for exams to become board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics

Nephrologists diagnose and treat kidney diseases, but they may also help in treating other conditions (such as diabetes) that may cause the kidney disease as well as some of the symptoms (such as high blood pressure) that kidney disease can cause.

Your doctor may refer you to a nephrologist if a urine test reveals you have protein (albumin) or blood in your urine, kidney stones, severe high blood pressure, poorly functioning kidneys or kidney failure.

A nephrologist is an internal medicine doctor who has received specialized training in kidney diseases. This type of doctor treats patients who have kidney disorders. He also helps manage the kidney disease complications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.