noun, plural: nephrologists
A medical doctor that specializes in care and treatment of kidneys
A nephrologist is a medical doctor specializing in nephrology. Nephrology is a branch of medical science that is concerned primarily with the function, structure, diseases, care and treatments of the kidneys. The kidneys are a pair of organs in the body whose functions are primarily in the filtering wastes from blood and eliminating these wastes by forming urine to be excreted from the body. Thus, it is essential in the regulation of blood volume, blood pressure, electrolyte and metabolite levels, blood pH, etc, of the body. Failure of the kidney to perform its functions may lead to kidney problems such as acute renal failure, which is associated with the lack of blood flow to the kidneys, direct damage to the kidneys, and blockage of urine from the kidneys. It may also lead to chronic kidney disease, which is associated with systemic conditions such as types 1 and 2 diabetes and by high blood pressure.1 These kidney problems are what nephrologists are concerned about. A nephrologist will conduct the appropriate diagnosis (e.g. kidney biopsy) in order to determine what type of care and treatment to prescribe. Some of these treatments are dialysis and renal transplant. These two treatments are under renal replacement therapy. A nephrologist may also work in immunosuppression management, intensive care medicine, onconephrology, pediatric nephrology, etc.
Belding H. Scribner is one of the well-known nephrologists, and he formed the basis of the so-called Scribner shunt.
- renal physician
1 Understanding Kidney Disease -- the Basics. WebMD.com. Retrieved from