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NBLU: A Fellow’s Review

In any academic fellowship, fellows receive excellent clinical training. However, the business aspect of practice often
gets less attention. Before you know it you are scrambling to understand contracts, negotiate for a job, figure out
billing/coding/reimbursement, understand market trends/growth, and figure out how to market your practice.
Nephrology Business Leadership University or NBLU, aims to fill in this gap with a comprehensive 5­day course on
understanding the business of Nephrology.

During our five days at NBLU, we learned the basics of insurance, ‘red flags’ of practices, the future of
reimbursements, different practice environments (ie. academic, private, rural) and how to effectively
interview/network among a variety of business related topics. Fellows were broken up into small groups and learned
concepts in a variety of different teaching environments utilizing multiple interactive tools. In our small groups, we
were assigned to a city and came up with a practice name as well as a mission statement. We were provided with
an interactive map of our practice area and assessed growth rates to determine where we would open a clinic,
which hospitals and dialysis units we planned to affiliate with. By far our favorite session was on billing/coding. This
was an interactive session in which fellows were taught to ‘think like a coder’; where we critiqued and assigned a
level notes of other physicians.

By the end of NBLU, we were both feeling much more at ease about transitioning from fellowship to practice. I am
ready to begin interviewing to find a practice that fits my needs. We highly recommend this conference to all freshly
minted 2nd year Nephrology fellows interested in learning more about business and Nephrology.
However, the best part of NBLU is meeting and interacting with fellows from all over the country. We gained so
much knowledge and now future friends and colleagues. How could you miss this opportunity? It is so much
different than a brief meeting at Kidney Week or NKF as this is a 5 day immersion.

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