IU School of Medicine



Northwest Indiana Nephrology of Northwest Indiana offer a course to medical students which is designed to give them a general overview of the field of nephrology with in-depth experience in specific techniques of nephrologic care: renal biopsy, hemodialysis, various forms of peritoneal dialysis, and hemofiltration. The student is exposed to the management of very ill, intensive care, patients in terms of fluid and electrolyte balance, total parenteral nutrition (TPN), hemofiltration which is done coincidentally with TPN when the patient is oligoanuric. The physicians have access to eight Intensive Care settings in which consultations are made with follow-up care being required. The student is exposed to fluid and electrolyte therapy and management, calcium and phosphorus metabolism, water metabolism problems, etc. In addition to exposure to diagnosis and treatment of acute renal failure, there are approximately 250 chronic renal failure patients whose care will be examined by the medical student program. These patients are treated with chronic hemodialysis, continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, and/or transplantation. The management of outpatient dialysis is stressed, as well as the in-hospital care of chronic dialysis patients who become unstable from whatever cause (bowel obstruction, myocardial infarction, septicemia, dialysis-related peritonitis, etc. The student has various options as to how he spends his time with the physicians presenting the course. The student will be expected to participate in all of the aspects of nephrologic care, diagnosis, and therapy mentioned above plus he may elect to spend more time in one specific area after having been exposed to each of the areas. That means that the student, after experiencing acute and chronic hemodialysis, intensive care medicine, and outpatient clinic, may choose to spend the last 7-10 days of his experience in one those settings, i.e., the chronic outpatient dialysis unit, the home training CAPD area, intensive care area, etc. Of course, reading materials will be provided which are pertinent to each of the nephrology subareas the student attends. The feedback we have had from students in the past is that their preparation for primary care as interns was greatly enhanced by exposure to the nephrology student elective. There is space for students at any one time.

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops: Amy Han, PhD (amyhan@iun.edu)

Director: David Ashbach, M.D.

Campus: Northwest-Gary

Location: Methodist Hospitals of Gary and Merrillville (Merrillville)

Learning Objectives

  • 1) Describe the etiology of common conditions related to general nephrology (MK2)
  • 2) Diagnose and develop a treatment plan for common nephrologic conditions including patients with acute and chronic renal failure, glomerulonephritis, fluid and electrolyte disorders, hypertension and acid-base disorders (PC3)
  • 3) Recognize indications for and interpret tests used in the evaluation of the patient (PC3)
  • 4) Demonstrate an appropriate physical exam of the patient (PC1)
  • 5) Apply basic knowledge of general nephrology in the patient care setting (MK3)


  • Clinical Performance Evaluation Form 1. Direct observation of clinical performance by preceptor 2. Oral Case Presentation to course director 3. Discussion with preceptors/course director

Enrollment Information

Prerequisites: 4th year status

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 40

Time Distribution: 70% Clinical; 10% Lecture/Seminar; 20% Library

Elective Type Category: CP - Clinical Practice

Notes and Enrollment Information:

Add/Drop Contact Person: Amy Han, PhD (amyhan@iun.edu) THIS ELECTIVE DOES NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE INITIAL SENIOR MATCH All Northwest electives must go thru the Northwest campus coordinators.  Contact Amy Han, PhD  (amyhan@iun.edu or 219-980-6561) or Brittany Miller (millerby@iun.edu or 219-980-6525).  All students need to attend an orientation prior to working with Dr. Ashbach. This can be done the first day of the rotation.

Third Year Elective? No

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: None

Service Learning Included: None