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Join the ISN’s Young Nephrologists at WCN’23…and Create Your Own Regional Community With Their Help!

By YNC member Nikolay Bulanov

Our first steps in nephrology as trainees, early-career practitioners or researchers can be challenging. Being part of a network of keen specialists can help one to develop professionally and improve clinical and research skills.

The ISN’s Young Nephrologists Committee (YNC) engages with young ISN members worldwide in educational, scientific and social activities. The World Congress of Nephrology (WCN) offers a perfect opportunity to meet like-minded colleagues in one of the many activities we have prepared.

The main YNC activity at this year’s congress, WCN’23, is the YNC Session on March 31. This is where you can hear experiences from your colleagues from different countries. The same day, in the evening, the YNC hosts its social meeting for younger ISN members – this is an excellent opportunity to catch up with colleagues and meet new people from the international kidney care community in a relaxing setting. On April 1, we’re holding a quiz-a-thon where teams from each region will compete against each other. And do join us for some networking discussions at the congress “Table Talks.”

If you are under 45 and want to get more involved in the ISN’s worldwide projects and initiatives, join the Young Nephrologists Network.

Even a small local group of enthusiasts can implement the first steps toward a better future for an entire community. Have you considered establishing a young nephrologists’ committee in your region? Why is such a committee needed? How can you gather and develop a flourishing community of dedicated early-career specialists in kidney care?

The ISN website hosts a set of unique toolkits that provide essential information and step-by-step guidance for people who want to master best practices in clinical trials, chronic kidney disease prevention, management of complement-mediated kidney diseases, and many other areas of kidney health. The ISN YNC subcommittee recently began developing a toolkit to help young nephrologists create a local committee from scratch.

The subcommittee suggests several initial steps: First, one must consider the primary needs faced by early-career nephrologists in the country and how they can be addressed – for example, a lack of training resources, more advocacy initiatives, or increased collaboration between healthcare centers. Once a mission statement is determined, administrative and financial support and help to get formal recognition can be sought from the local professional kidney association.

For the next stage, several enthusiastic and responsible people are required who can help you advance the emerging organization in three potential domains: networking, education, and academic exposure. At this point, a plethora of opportunities are open to your association – you can run regular educational meetings and sessions at conferences, develop mentorship programs, establish research networks, improve local practices, and, last but not least, find new friends and collaborators who can help you advance your career and achieve professional recognition.

As the first version of this toolkit gets underway, some ISN members have already implemented these principles in their regions. In 2022, the Community of Young Nephrologists of the Newly Independent States and Russia Region was established with guidance and support from the Russian Dialysis Society. The need for this community was primarily dictated by the shortage of educational and networking platforms and the language barriers experienced by young nephrologists in these countries, who have to deal with a lack of medical resources for the early detection, prevention, and treatment of kidney diseases.

In May 2022, this new community successfully organized a research competition among young nephrologists and held a dedicated international session during the Russian Dialysis Society Congress in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is hoped that this activity will be held annually. In March 2023, the community set the stage for regular educational webinars focusing on the practical aspects of nephrology for trainees and early-career specialists. The community’s founders have already established contact with the ISN YNC and aim to become a part of the global young nephrologists’ network.

We hope that, sooner or later, every young nephrologist from anywhere in the world will have the opportunity to become part of our international community to share experiences, challenges, and successes together.

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