“The Committee Can Ensure a Thriving Engagement in the Ever-changing Landscape of Kidney Health” New YNC Members on Addressing the Needs of Young Nephrologists Worldwidejbrown
From left to right: Gaetano Alfano, Iman Rashed Al Shamsi, and Barbara Letícia Dudel Mayer
This year, the Young Nephrology Committee (YNC) welcomes three new members into its fold: Gaetano Alfano (Italy), Iman Rashed Al Shamsi (United Arab Emirates), and Barbara Letícia Dudel Mayer (Brazil).
These talented young kidney specialists have chosen to lend their expertise to the YNC. Their diverse cultural backgrounds and aspirations promise to enrich and strengthen the committee’s educational initiatives. Their different geographic origins make them valuable assets in identifying and addressing the needs of young nephrologists worldwide.
We asked Dr. Alfano and Dr. Al Shamsi a few questions to get to know them better:
What motivated you to join the ISN Young Nephrologists Committee?
Dr. Al Shamsi: To meet and work with nephrologists from all over the world. The group’s cultural diversity widens one’s perception of approaches to common problems among nephrologists. Representing young nephrologists’ concerns and trying to solve their problems is a privilege.
Dr. Alfano: Personally, the main reason for joining the YNC is to create a network of young colleagues keen to work together to develop and deliver educational programs customized to meet the specific needs of young nephrologists from all parts of the world. Working with colleagues from diverse countries is the most exciting aspect of my professional life.
What are the main challenges facing young nephrologists in their careers today?
Dr. Al Shamsi: Nephrology is a very demanding field of medicine. Finding the right work-life balance, challenges of access to training opportunities, and lack of financial rewards are some challenges facing young nephrologists.
Dr. Alfano: In some healthcare contexts, training in nephrology may be limited, leading to gaps in knowledge and experience for young nephrologists. Limited access to medications or advancing procedures can be additional challenges for them.
Nephrologists must stay abreast of the latest advancements and best practices in healthcare; in Western Europe, accessing high-quality training to sustain skills at an elevated level can be challenging.
How do you envision the committee addressing these challenges and supporting young nephrologists?
Dr. Al Shamsi: Some of the challenges related to training are being addressed by the ISN through the ISN Mentorship Program, the Emerging Leadership Program, and the many resources on the ISN Academy.
In addition, I would like to use my role in the YNC to highlight young nephrologists’ achievements and help them tell their stories.
Dr. Alfano: The committee arranges educational events to improve young nephrologists’ research and clinical capabilities. These include comprehensive courses on data analysis, scientific writing, and research opportunities for young nephrologists.
The committee also facilitates mentorship partnerships to connect young nephrologists with experienced physicians in clinical nephrology.
How do you see the committee evolving in the future to meet the changing needs of young nephrologists worldwide?
Dr. Shamsi: I think it is important to embrace technological advances for global outreach, continue to tailor educational programs to local needs and promote mentorship partnerships.
Dr. Alfano: The extensive network within the committee has the potential to meet the changing needs of younger colleagues worldwide by tackling logistical and financial challenges related to the organization of educational events and furnishing practical tools to advance kidney care in line with the economic and technological capabilities of a region. These initiatives tailored to specific needs can improve the clinical practice of young nephrologists.
I believe that the outlook for future challenges is encouraging. The high presence of young ISN members actively expressing their advocacy through the online platform, the Young Nephrologists Network, is a sign of the strong commitment within the kidney care community. By nurturing and empowering these young voices, the committee can ensure a thriving engagement in the ever-changing landscape of kidney health.
What do you hope to gain personally and professionally from your involvement with the committee?
Dr Shamsi: I hope to gain insight into different healthcare systems, cultures, and practices, which can eventually improve my understanding of nephrology and patient care. Professionally, I look forward to enhancing my leadership and advocacy skills.
Dr. Alfano: The diverse and inclusive committee provides an opportunity to connect and collaborate with passionate and talented individuals from different backgrounds. Through these connections, I hope to contribute to the global advancement of kidney care and significantly expand my professional network.
I am particularly excited to support the ISN’s educational programs by sharing my expertise and experience in kidney failure and participating in ISN research initiatives.