Nephrology Fellowship

The Nephrology Fellowship Training program at Emory offers you:

  • On average seven scholarly/ambulatory months over the two-year fellowship
  • All expense paid national conference (ASN Kidney Week) attendance in your second year
  • 100% job placement mostly anywhere of your choosing
  • 98% board pass rates
  • Internationally and nationally renowned teaching faculty
  • T32 Training grant with a minimum of 2 years research funding
  • Free ASN and NKF memberships
  • Free access to electronic medical library
  • Free subscription service
The Nephrology Fellowship training program provides comprehensive training in clinical nephrology and research in areas related to normal physiology and diseases of the kidney. Our mission is to train outstanding clinical nephrologists and renal physician-scientists who will become the next generation of leaders in the field of nephrology.

The majority of the fellows in the program pursue a two-year clinical track. Selected fellows with outstanding research potential may be invited to join the research track, which consists of one year of clinical training and at least two years of laboratory or clinical research training funded by an NIH T32 training grant.

Nephrology Fellowship Program Information 

Clinical and Research Overview

The Emory University School of Medicine offers a comprehensive training program in the study of Nephrology (Renal Medicine) which is designed to produce competent subspecialists and clinical investigators following a period of intensive training. Two tracks are offered:

Academic Track

For those interested in pursuing an academic career, a year of clinical training followed by two years of protective time in research in areas of interest selected by the trainees with their choice of preceptor.

Clinical Track

For those interested in solely pursuing a clinical career, a year of clinical training is followed by a second year with time devoted to scholarly activity and clinical training. Most trainees are able to submit a completed project for publication. Trainees will also be required to participate in continuity care clinic, transplant clinic, in-center hemodialysis clinic, and home dialysis clinic.

Training Hospitals and Locations 

The fellowship training takes place at four hospitals, Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital MidtownGrady Memorial Hospital and the Atlanta VA Medical Center. In addition, there are outpatient training opportunities at several of Emory’s dialysis centers.

Fellows are provided of a very diverse patient population between the hospitals and Emory’s Dialysis Centers where they will also have the opportunity to assess patients with a variety of diseases including Glomerulonephritis, PKD, HIV, transplant and SLE. In addition, there are a large number of home and hemodialysis patients in our dialysis centers. Emory Dialysis is the largest home therapies clinic in Georgia.


Our training program has a rich tradition of academic excellence and national leadership:

  • More than 155 clinical and research fellows have matriculated through the Nephrology training program since 1960
  • Former trainees have been appointed to academic faculty positions or served as chairs or nephrology division directors (University of Mississippi, Medical University of South Carolina, University of Michigan, East Carolina University, University of Rochester, University of Tennessee, East Carolina to name a few)

Current Fellows

2nd Year


Gurleen Kaur, MacNeal Hospital, IL

Muhannad Alqudsi

Muhannad Alqudsi, Texas Tech University, TX

 Sunitha Kalyanam

Sunitha Kalyanam, Robert Packer Hospital, PA

Jith Palacherla

Jith Palacherla, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, TX


Jobira Woldemichael, Atlanta Medical Center, GA


1st Year

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali, Hennepin County Medical Center, MN

Niraj Karki

Niraj Karki, Bronx Lenanon Hospital Center, NY

Saba Khan

Saba Khan, Memorial Health University, GA

 Nirav Parikh

Nirav Parikh, NYU Lutheran Medical Center, NY

 Ajai Rajabalan

Ajai Rajabalan, Western Reserve Health Education, OH

 Salim Bou Slaiman

Salim Bou Slaiman, Stanten Island University Northwell, NY

 Satyanarayana Vaidya

Satyanarayana R. Vaidya, Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners, MI



The Emory University Renal Division is known for its excellent clinical program and world-class basic and translational scientists that consists of 40 faculty members who are passionately dedicated to patient care and research. Among them are 14 former fellows of the Emory Nephrology Fellowship Training Program, 2 Carl W. Gottschalk Award Lecturers (prestigious award granted to groundbreaking researchers), and a Kidney Ebola specialist. More than 16 of the Divisions faculty are principal investigators on federal and non-federal grants. We are in our 25th year of our NIH Training grant. In addition, Emory has the only Renal Ultrasonography certification program in the world and prides itself on its international presence.

Our faculty members have numerous publications in various journals ranging from the Journal of American Society of Nephrology to the New England Journal of Medicine and American Physiological Society. 

Training and Curriculum

Consult Service

The nephrology service provides nephrology consultations at four hospitals including Grady Memorial Hospital, Emory University Hospital (EUH), Emory University Midtown Hospital (EUHM) and the Atlanta VA Medical Center (VA). During the consult service at each of the hospitals, the fellows learn to manage a broad spectrum of kidney disorders in critically ill patients. They are provided ample opportunity to get hands-on experience at acute hemodialysis, continuous renal replacement therapies, hemodialysis catheter placement and kidney biopsies.

Outpatient Dialysis Service

The emphasis on the outpatient dialysis service rotation is on learning to evaluate and manage patients undergoing in-center hemodialysis including managing dialysis prescriptions, hematologic and bone mineral parameters, and handling infectious and vascular access complications. Fellows receive education in water treatment, dialysis machine operation, and are trained in cannulating hemodialysis accesses and performing peritoneal exchanges. Fellows also actively participate in quality improvement activities at the dialysis unit. This rotation occurs during the scholarly/ambulatory months.

Ultrasound Service (minimum 2 months)

This service includes formal comprehensive training in renal sonography and is accredited by the American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology.  Emory has the only fellowship program with this training in the country. The fellow performs diagnostic studies of native kidneys and renal allografts. The fellow learns to screen end-stage kidneys for carcinoma, learns to perform ultrasound guide for percutaneous renal biopsies; learns visualization of veins for central venous catheterization and performs diagnostic studies of urinary bladders and measure of post-void bladder volume.  Once completed, the fellow is deemed certified at the end of the fellowship to conduct renal ultrasounds and interpret data.

Transplant Service (Inpatient and Outpatient) – (minimum of 2)

Emory performs more than 250 kidney transplants per year. To date, Emory has performed over 2700 adult and pediatric kidney transplants. During the Transplant service, the fellow learns the acute management of post-operative transplant patients, dosing of immunosuppressive medications and the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic rejection, opportunistic infections, and other complications.  The fellow also performs percutaneous kidney biopsies of native and transplant kidneys, places central venous catheters for dialysis and learns to interpret renal pathology and renal-related radiological studies.

Continuity Clinic (entire program)

The fellow has a weekly one half-day ambulatory renal clinic where he follows his own patients throughout the two-year clinical program. The clinic is structured where the fellow would see a diverse patient group between Grady Memorial Hospital and either The Emory Clinic or the VA Medical Center. The clinics are structured in such a way that the fellow sees a wide variety of patients including those with acute and chronic kidney diseases. Due to the chronicity of diseases most patients will be seen in follow-up several times per year.

Transplant Clinic

The fellow has an ambulatory transplant clinic during the scholarly activity/ambulatory months.

Scholarly Activity/Ambulatory (approximately 7 months)

The fellow will be able to work on their research projects in preparation of presenting at one of the nephrology national conferences. The fellow will also be able to participate in an ambulatory elective of their choosing, i.e., transplant, vascular surgery etc. in addition to preparing to take the boards. During this rotation, continuity clinics are continued.   Fellows participate in dialysis rounds during this time.


Fellows will perform all required procedures under the guidance of the attending on service throughout the fellowship. The required procedures consist of:

  • Acute Vascular Catheter Placement
  • Permcath Removal
  • Transplant Kidney Biopsy
  • Native Kidney Biopsy 

Conference Schedule

Fellows are required to attend weekly conferences as part of the training. Core Conferences are also taped and uploaded online for fellows to review at a later date.

  • 3 p.m. -  Tuesdays - Didactic Lecture
This conference is for both first and second-year fellows and is presented by a clinical faculty member. The curriculum is designed to cover important relevant clinical topics germane to the field of nephrology over a two year period.

  • 4 p.m. Tuesdays - Core Curriculum 
This conference is for both first and second-year fellows and is presented by a clinical faculty member. Topics range from Quality Improvement, Morbidity and mortality, and Palliative Care.

  • 5 p.m. Tuesdays – Renal Grand Rounds 
This conference is for the entire division (fellows, physicians, researchers, nurses, etc.) and is presented by guests from both inside and outside the university.

  • Weekly – Journal Club    
This conference is led by a fellow at each of the hospital locations under the supervision of a designated faculty member.  The articles are selected in conjunction with and are usually relevant to the weekly didactic lecture given the previous day.

  • 8 a.m. 4th Friday of each month – Dialysis Conference 
This conference is led by a faculty member and covers such topics as water purification, the role of dialysis director, peritonitis, selection of patients for specific dialysis modalities, etc.

  • 5:30 p.m. 3rd Thursday of each month – Pathology Conference
This conference is led by faculty members from both nephrology and pathology where three selected cases are reviewed with input from other faculty members.

How to Apply

Applicants must apply through ERAS. Applications outside of ERAS are not considered.

Fellowship application requirements are as follows:

  • MD degree
  • USLME Step 3 certification
  • Three years of training in an ACGME accredited U.S. Internal Medicine Residency program and be board eligible before the fellowship begins

Applications are accepted only through ERAS. Applications for the 2020-2021 fellowship year will be accepted July 1, 2019 through August 31, 2019. Interviews will be conducted on Tuesdays in August, September, and October. Interviews will begin about 10 a.m. and end around 3 p.m. to provide the applicant the ability to fly in and out the same day.

Required ERAS components:

  • Common application form
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • 3 letters of recommendation (1 must be from your Program Director), MSPE (Dean’s letter)
  • Medical school transcript
  • USMLE transcript with Step 3 certification
  • ECFMG status report, if applicable

Foreign Medical School Graduates

International Medical Graduates interested in a fellowship must be certified by ECFMG and enter the training program on a J-1 visa unless they are a citizen of the United States or holding an Alien Registration Card. H1-B visa holders are welcome to apply.

Benefits and National Conference attendance


Fellows will receive three weeks’ vacation per year with the standard benefits of medical, dental and vision coverage. 

Conference Attendance

Fellows are afforded the opportunity to attend a national conference in their 2nd year of fellowship training that is funded by the program.  This conference would be one of the following: National Kidney Foundation, American Society of Nephrology (most attended) or the American Society of Transplantation.  Also, second-year fellows attend a national CRRT conference and Home Dialysis University.  If fellows are presenting scholarly activity they are supported to attend other conferences such as National Kidney Foundation and American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology.

Program Administration

Dr. James L. Bailey 
Program Director, Nephrology Fellowship Training Program
Professor of Medicine
Renal Division

Melanie V. Elder
Program Coordinator, Nephrology Fellowship Training Program
Renal Division

Mailing Address    
Emory University School of Medicine
Renal Division
101 Woodruff Circle, WMB 338

Atlanta, GA  30322

Nephrology Fellowship video

Learn more about the Emory University Nephrology fellowship in this short video: