Medical Students: Career Profiles
Dr. Craig A. Shadur - Practicing Nephrologist
Everyone's career journey is fraught with difficult decisions on which road to take. My decision to go into private practice nephrology was relatively easy. As I was finishing my nephrology fellowship program I did a very careful self-evaluation and decided the parts of the specialty which I enjoyed the most were patient care, the ability to stay intellectually engaged, and interacting with residents and medical students. I found the perfect match for myself in a private practice setting in a community teaching hospital.
The clinical practice of nephrology is somewhat unique. I act as a consultant to primary care providers and other specialists, but also act as a primary physician for my dialysis and transplant patients. Most of my days are split between seeing hospitalized patients in the morning and a private clinic in the afternoon. Hospitalized patients are often consultative (often acute kidney injury, but can also be every aspect of clinical nephrology) but also include my own patients who are admitted with acute medical or surgical problems. My afternoon clinic includes patients with anything from chronic kidney disease to nephrolithiasis, hypertension, electrolyte disorders, transplantation, and asymptomatic urinary sediment abnormalities. Four times a month I make dialysis rounds in our hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis unit (a duty that I share with our physician's assistant).
Despite a full schedule I always have time to visit with my partners to discuss challenging patients and to spend time teaching our internal medicine residents and medical students. I also have ample time for my family, volunteer actives at our local art museum, and attendance at national and regional medical meetings. Thirty-two years after making my career choice I remain excited about taking care of patients with kidney disease and feel fortunate I made my career choice in the clinical practice of nephrology.