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Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2018 Nov;25(6):480-484. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2018.08.005.

Leadership as a Division Chief of Nephrology.

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Interim Chair of Medicine, Division Chief of Nephrology and Hypertension, University of Louisville School of Medicine, St Louisville, KY, and ACOS for Research and Development, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY. Electronic address:


The position of chief of a division of nephrology in an academic medical center is a hands-on job, offering the opportunity to influence the future of the field through the creation of unique clinical, research, and education programs. Today, most academic centers face significant financial challenges, thus the division chief must develop a variety of skills to accomplish his or her goals. Interactions and relationships with the leadership of the academic center, including the hospital executives, can facilitate or impede progress on proposed projects; therefore, aligning the goals of the division with the goals of leadership is an imperative. Engagement, assessment, mentorship, and sponsorship of the faculty members are essential tasks because any project will require faculty input and buy in. A division chief's networks outside of the home academic medical center are critical for successful recruitment of new faculty, establishment of beneficial relationships with research funding agencies, and development of cooperative programs with industries such as dialysis corporations. Effective communication skills and honest self-assessment of strengths and weaknesses with the wisdom to seek expertise when needed are keys to success. The position of division chief is arguably the most rewarding position for an academic nephrologist.


Academic leadership; Faculty; Mentorship


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