Seeing a nephrologist at the first signs of a kidney disorder can keep your kidneys healthy and functioning for as long as possible. Your nephrologist is there to guide you through decisions about protecting your health and treating your kidney issues. How do you find the right nephrologist for you? Keep these factors in mind:
Get referrals. Talk to your primary care physician. You can also ask family, friends and other health-care providers for recommendations. After you narrow your list, call each nephrologist’s office and ask for a consultation appointment to interview the doctor.
Do your homework. Board certification is one of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing a nephrologist. This tells you the doctor has the necessary training, skills and experience to provide the appropriate care. Confirm the nephrologist has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. Find the nephrologist’s medical school, training hospital and certifications on state websites.
Consider experience. The more experience a nephrologist has with a condition or procedure, the better your results are likely to be. Ask how many patients with your specific condition the nephrologist has treated. If you know you need a specific procedure, ask how many of the procedures the doctor has performed and find out about complication rates—complications the doctor has encountered as well as your own risk of complications.
Research the hospital. Your doctor’s hospital is your hospital. For this reason, consider the quality of care at the hospital and dialysis center where the nephrologist can provide care. Hospital quality matters to you because patients at top-rated hospitals have fewer complications and better survival rates. Additionally, consider whether the hospital’s location is important to you. Frequent tests, treatments, or follow-up visits may mean you need a convenient location.
Check patient satisfaction surveys. Reading what other people have to say about a doctor can provide insight into how a doctor practices medicine, as well as how his or her medical practice is operated. Patient satisfaction surveys typically ask people about their experience with scheduling appointments, wait times, office environment, and office staff friendliness. You can learn about how well patients trust the doctor, how much time he or she spends with their patients, and how well he or she answers questions.
Know what your insurance covers. To receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket, you may need to choose a nephrologist in your plan. Just consider credentials, experience, outcomes and hospital quality of a nephrologist from your plan.
To help you get started, we’ve pulled together a list of the top African American nephrologists in the country in the Black Health Matters Nephrologist Guide. Is one near you?
1. Kirk Campbell, M.D.
An associate professor in the Division of Nephrology and the Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the director of the Nephrology Fellowship Program and an ombudsperson for medical students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Kirk Campbell, M.D., treats patients with renal disease and leads an NIH-funded research program focused on understanding the mechanism of podocyte injury in the progression of proteinuric kidney diseases.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
1 Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029
2. Olayiwola Ayodeji, M.D.
Nephrologist Olayiwola Ayodeji, M.D., has led the development of the Clinical Trials Program at Peninsula Kidney Associates and served as a principal investigator on many research trials. He currently serves as the Medical Director of Davita Newmarket Dialysis Center and the Davita Home Training Center. He is board certified in nephrology and internal medicine.
Peninsula Kidney Associates
501 Butler Farm Road, Suite I, Hampton, Virginia 23666
3. Paul W. Crawford, M.D.
A nephrology and hypertension specialist with a private practice in Chicago, Paul W. Crawford, M.D. has been practicing for more than 40 years. He is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago/Stritch School of Medicine.
Associates in Nephrology
10801 S Western Ave, Suite 201, Chicago, Illinois 60643
4. Crystal Gadegbeku, M.D.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, Crystal Gadegbeku, M.D., is a nephrology specialist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is Chief of the section of nephrology, hypertension and kidney transplantation, and Vice Chair of community outreach at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. Her clinical interests include chronic kidney disease, hypertension in chronic kidney disease and pregnancy in chronic kidney disease.
Temple University Department of Nephrology
3401 North Broad Street, Suite 100, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140
5. Eddie Greene, M.D.
Mayo Clinic internist and nephrologist Eddie Green, M.D., treats chronic kidney disease, heart disease and kidney cancer. His interests include chronic renal failure, cardiovascular disease in chronic renal failure and renal cell cancer.
200 1st St SW, Rochester, Minnesota 55905
6. Susanne Nicholas, M.D.
Board certified in internal medicine and nephrology, Susanne Nicholas, M.D., has clinical interests in nephrology and hypertension. Her research over the past 15-plus years has led to the identification of a novel biomarker of diabetic kidney disease, which is being validated in clinical studies.
200 UCLA Medical Plaza, Suite B365, Los Angeles, California 90095
7. Carmen Peralta, M.D.
Clinical investigator and association professor of medicine Carmen Peralta, M.D., is co-founder and executive director of the Kidney Health Research Collaborative. She is a leader in the epidemiology of kidney disease and hypertension. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, her research activity focuses on three areas: 1) approaches to improving care of people with kidney disease and reducing racial and ethnic disparities; 2) hypertension, arterial stiffness and kidney disease; and 3) biomarkers for detection, classification and risk of early kidney disease.
University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
1600 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, California 94115
8. Neil Powe, M.D.
A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Neal Powe, M.D., is head of the University of California San Francisco Medicine Service at the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. This is one of the leading medicine departments in a public hospital with strong basic, clinical and health services research programs focused on major diseases affecting diverse patients locally, nationally and globally. His primary intellectual pursuits involve kidney disease patient-oriented research, epidemiology and outcomes and effectiveness research.
University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
1001 Potrero Avenue, Room 5F39, San Francisco, California 94110
9. Crystal Tyson, M.D.
Located in Durham, North Carolina, Crystal Tyson, M.D., is a specialist in nephrology and renal medicine. “I enjoy building relationships with my patients and collaborating with them on how to best accomplish those goals with available therapies,” she says.
Duke Nephrology South Durham
Duke Health Center
234 Crooked Creek Parkway, Suite 400, Durham, North Carolina 27713