Nephrologists Get Schooled on Business Savvy – and More – at NBLU Event

WU nephrologist fellow Miraie Wardi learned a lot more than just the business and economic aspects of nephrology when she attended the Nephrology Business Leadership University (NBLU) event this year.

The program, specifically designed for 2nd year nephrology fellows graduating in 2019, helps fellows plan for their future in nephrology as they transition from training to practice. The event involves participation in a series of learning modules with a wide range of topics.

The first NBLU event, held in 2016, focused on leadership and the business of nephrology, but hosted only a limited number of fellows from two universities. Now in its third year, the event has expanded to include over 70 faculty members and panelists from across the country and fellows from 30 nephrology fellowship programs. The program was held in Plano, TX, August 6-10, 2018.

“The overall event was fantastic,” says Dr. Wardi. “It was very well organized and covered topics that ranged from how to navigate an interview to how to engage in physician leadership opportunities to appropriate billing and coding … and so much more.”

The training modules also covered topics such as the future of healthcare in the U.S. and the impact of social media (including the “nephrology Twitterverse”) and how it is changing the practice of nephrology. There was even a demonstration on renal-healthy cooking by @Thecookingdoc.

In addition, the fellows participated in a Shark Tank style competition. “This was probably my favorite activity of the entire event,” says Wardi. Teams were tasked with designing a nephrology practice in an assigned city.

“We had to come up with a name, logo, mission statement, practice design and do a SWAT analysis of our market and practice; things that none of us had ever done before,” she says. “We had a great coach who helped guide us through the exercise, but it was really amazing how quickly the five of us bonded and used our different experiences and interests to create something that we were really proud of in the end.” Wardi was on Team Baltimore, which went on to win for “best practice design” for their Harbor Nephrology.

Another highlight for Wardi was the radio show. “We were given the opportunity to participate in a live radio show where we answered caller questions about hypertension. Four of us participated. We felt like it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that really pushed us out of our comfort zone.”

Wardi points out that the event was also a great opportunity to network with fellows from all over the country, as well as with practicing nephrologists, and pick their brains about their experiences and the secrets to the their success.

In the end, Wardi came away with something that cannot be taught. “I think the best part of this conference was that it really promoted a lot of personal growth and life-long friendships.”

See the NBLU 2018 Twitter highlights @NBLUniv and follow Dr. Wardi (a proud Texan, world traveler, amateur pastry chef, foodie, coffee snob, and bookworm) @miraie_wardi.