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Author Interview: Tejas Desai, MD, FNKF
Assistant Professor of Medicine -- Division of Nephrology & Hypertension
Associate Program Director -- Internal Medicine Residency Program
East Carolina University - Brody School of Medicine  
Greenville, NC

Publication:

Predicting the Number of US Medical Graduates Entering Adult Nephrology Fellowships Using Search Term Analysis

Tejas Desai, Maria Ferris, Cynthia Christiano, Xiangming Fang
American Journal of Kidney Diseases - 19 December 2011
(10.1053/j.ajkd.2011.11.021)

What are the main findings of the study?

This study indicates that one can use the frequency of search terms used on Google to determine how interested individuals are in nephrology training.

Were any of the findings unexpected?

While we knew that search term frequency analysis has been used to accurately predict future events in non-medical disciplines, we were surprised that such an analysis could predict, with high accuracy, future events in the medical education discipline, like nephrology fellowship training.

What should clinicians and patients take away from this study?

The most important idea to take away is that US medical graduates will continue to pursue subspecialty training in fields other than nephrology. 

This decrease in interest will remain until at least 2013 and requires nephrology educators to redesign our educational platforms to attract a greater number of US medical graduates to nephrology if we, as a community, want to have enough nephrologists to care for patients. 

What recommendations do you have for future studies as a result of your study?

The future will now rest in the hands of nephrology educators who develop unorthodox teaching mechanisms and then measure their effectiveness at increasing the percentage of US medical graduates entering a nephrology fellowship by using our  model.

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