Fellowship Overview

The Cooper University Nephrology Fellowship is a two-year program, and we accept up to 2 fellows per year.  Candidates must be board-eligible or certified in internal medicine.  Fellows rotate through the inpatient service, outpatient chronic kidney disease clinic, outpatient dialysis unit, and renal transplantation service.  Teaching sites include Cooper University Hospital (primary), outpatient Davita Dialysis units, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (transplant rotation).  The inpatient service is purely consultative; we do not have a primary hospital service managed by nephrology fellows or faculty.  Fellows do have opportunities to supervise and teach medical students and medicine residents rotating on the inpatient nephrology service.  Fellows gain expertise in acute dialysis modalities (including continuous dialysis) and maintenance dialysis modalities (in-center and home hemodialysis as well as peritoneal dialysis), renal biopsy, immediate and long-term management of renal transplant patients, and access placement for hemodialysis.

The fellowship program is very proud of its record in training excellent clinicians.  Strengths of the program include the commitment to education from our diverse faculty and staff, as well as the variety and complexity of patients typically seen in an urban tertiary care center.  In support of this educational commitment, the fellowship program employs the use of non-trainee care providers in the inpatient and outpatient settings.  Faculty and physician extenders allow fellows to maintain an excellent work-life balance and time for research as well as other scholarly activities.  Fellows also learn about the cohesive work relationships and responsibilities among the nephrology physician and non-physician providers.  We recognize the importance of a healthy balance between clinical responsibilities, time dedicated to education and self-learning, and self-care and life outside of work.  Based on feedback from previous fellow trainees, we have reduced the inpatient service requirement to 40% of the overall time encompassing the two-year fellowship.  Hospital service weeks are interrupted by weeks dedicated to outpatient dialysis exposure (peritoneal and home hemodialysis clinics), self-learning, and time to work on academic projects.  Fellows take call from home, and are on call one weeknight per week and one out of every four weekends on average.  The nephrology faculty is dedicated to teaching our fellows within a safe and supportive environment.  Four weeks of vacation are built into every fellow’s schedule each year. 

Cooper Nephrology has made a commitment to educate fellows on the use of bedside ultrasound devices.  Through a close program with Cooper’s own world-renowned Critical Care Division and use of local and national educational events, nephrology trainees should attain comfort and experience with portable ultrasound devices in the care of critically ill patients.  The Cooper Nephrology Fellowship aims to produce clinicians who are familiar with cutting edge technology in the pursuit of the best care possible.

Overall, we are committed to the successful transition from medicine resident to competent nephrologist, and we are proud of all our graduated fellows.  Our diverse faculty are entirely dedicated to our trainees’ success and provide the necessary tools for that success in a collaborative and supportive environment.  Joe Szulewski, DO, a 2018 graduating fellow stated, “I really enjoyed the environment at Cooper.  I feel prepared for anything.”