Nephrology is the subspecialty of internal medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the kidney. Because the kidney performs so many critical functions, nephrologists maintain expertise in primary kidney disorders, but also the management of the systemic consequences of kidney dysfunction. Although the prevention and identification and management of early kidney disease is a large part of general internal medicine practice, nephrologists are usually called upon to assist and manage more complex or advanced nephrologic disorders.
Many nephrologists work in individual or group practices seeing patients in consultation for other physicians and following patients with chronic kidney disease longitudinally. Nephrologists may also provide in-hospital consultation as part of their practice.