Perspective of a pediatric nephrology program: an 18 year retrospective.
We analyzed the patient profile in a pediatric nephrology training program, along with data collected over an 18 year period, to determine whether there is merit in the proposition that clinical training can be obtained equally well in internal medicine nephrology training programs. We also compared the rate of patient referral in an U.S. metropolitan area with a population of 1.2 million, in the first 9 years without the "gatekeeper" health insurance system and the next 9 years with managed care competition. Finally, we discussed guidelines for renal biopsy in the child and approaches to treatment as practiced in a pediatric nephrology program of almost two decades. We used the same NIH clinical data form throughout the 18 years of data collection to record clinical, laboratory and biopsy diagnosis, dialysis/ transplantation and other treatment data of patients entering our outpatient and inpatient services. Between 1977 and 1996, 3,150 new patients were examined for disorders related to the kidney. Twenty-one per cent of the patients were in the first year of life and 50% were younger than seven years of age. The majority of the 389 percutaneous renal biopsies were done in children under 10 years of age. In addition, almost half of the 112 pediatric dialysis/transplant patients presented before 10 years of age. Thus, the majority of patients were in the early years of life, with an unique pattern of renal diseases and issues regarding therapy which are clearly different from adulthood. Therefore we concluded that the existing data did not support the proposition that pediatric nephrology training be absorbed into internal medicine nephrology programs. The introduction of managed care competition did not affect the rate of patient enrollment. In fact, the rate of referrals in the latter 9 years paralleled the first 9 years. The factors which contribute to this outcome are discussed. Such data should be useful to those trying to meet the challenges of this competitive era. Finally, we discussed guidelines for renal biopsies in children and approaches to specific diseases.
Scheinman, JI; Foreman, JW; Chan, JC
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China (Republic : 1949- )