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NephSIM Nephrology Elective Course

Last Updated: April 16, 2020


The NephSim renal elective is a 2-week course utilizing online content and virtual meetings to learn nephrology, practice critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills, as well as work on note-writing and evidence-based medicine. The course is geared toward medical students but is appropriate for residents and advanced practice providers as well. The course covers a wide variety of content including acute kidney injury, nephrotic syndrome, glomerulonephritis, dialysis, transplant nephrology, acid/base physiology, and electrolyte management. Students complete nephrology cases from a collection of online educational material at NephSim.com, write new consult notes for core cases, and perform peer review. Students also generate discussion questions and complete additional assignments to improve understanding of critical concepts. Nephrology faculty and fellows facilitate virtual meetings to engage in real-time case discussions and encourage distance learning. While the course is optimal with virtual meetings, the coursework is easily transitioned to fully independent study if facilitators are unavailable. The attached PowerPoint is designed to provide a course syllabus, facilitator guide, and can be easily modified to the student version (which can also be provided by the authors). Students should utilize this PowerPoint to navigate the course and achieve the learning objectives.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Formulate differential diagnoses for various nephrology presentations.
  • Apply basics of urinalysis, acid/base physiology, and kidney pathology to nephrology cases.
  • Generate succinct case summaries and consult notes for nephrology presentations.
  • Appraise key articles from the nephrology literature


Rachel Hilburg, M.D., University of Pennsylvania (Rachel.Hilburg@pennmedicine.upenn.edu)
Samira Farouk, M.D., M.S., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai