Shubhada Ahya, MD
- Renal fellowship Program Director
- Co-editor of the WashManual as a Chief Resident
What best characterizes the field of nephrology?
Nephrology is very special because combines some of the great qualities offered in Primary Care, General Internal Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease and End Stage Renal Disease have significant cardiovascular and infectious disease complications so we also work closely with our colleagues in these areas.
We also follow patients in every Intensive Care Unit in our Hospital to provide Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy to critically ill patients on mechanical ventilation, pressor support, and/or ventricular assist devices who have acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. It’s also an ideal subspecialty to foster high-quality, long-term relationships with patients. We round on our dialysis patients every week- that really adds up over months to years. Often times, weekly rounds are not complete patients without sharing photos of family reunions or the birth of a new family member with me. In nephrology, there are many ways to tailor one’s career path and work hours to leave time for personal interests.
I enjoy traveling and reading. I never seem to have enough time to read fiction. Right now, I’m in between two books- the Lazarus Project by Aleksander Hemon and Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. I‘m interested in Global Health. I recently traveled back to rural Bolivia to volunteer again in colleague Dr. Mark Molitch’s clinic. I saw patients with Chagas Disease, a disease you don’t often see in the U.S. and worked with some great medical students from NU, Loyola, and Wright State. I also volunteer at the Nephrology Clinic at the CommunityHealth Clinic at 2611 W. Chicago- it’s a free clinic that sees patients without health insurance who are at or below 250% of the poverty level. It allows me to appreciate Chicago as a global city and contribute to the city we live in.
What are your clinical interests?
I see patients with a wide variety of nephrologic problems, but I particularly enjoy seeing patients with glomerular disease- primary disorders such as FSGS, iMGN, and IGAN, or secondary to SLE or other autoimmune disorders. My current research interests involve the role of simulation training in nephrology fellowship medical education. I have a great group of colleagues here with a wealth of expertise in this area. We had a publication in the July 2009 issue of one of our leading Nephrology journals, the American Journal of Kidney Diseases regarding this topic.
Tell us more about your personal goals and the goals of your program.
The short-term goal for our fellowship is to have another highly successful ACGME Accreditation Site Visit this summer. The long-term goals are to continue to fine tune our program so that it is the best Nephrology Fellowship program that we can be. I try to take it one day at a time. As long as I’m learning something new or getting better at something, I am content.