Dr Iain Drummond, ST6
‘Definition’ of specialty

Specialty encompassing acute and chronic, clinical and academic, and specialist and generalist work.

Overview of training programme 

Options are single accreditation involving four years of nephrology training or dual accreditation involving three years of nephrology and two years of general medicine. Most trainees dually accredit in general medicine.

Exam  and other requirements
  • Specialty Certificate Examination in Nephrology to be passed by completion of specialty training.
  • Satisfactory workplace-based assessments (WPBA) and competence in dialysis line insertion and renal biopsy prior to completion of specialty training.
Opportunities for out of programme research

This is generally encouraged and many trainees undertake out of programme research (OOPR) leading to a higher degree. An increasing number of trainees are now undertaking alternative out of programme experience such as medical education/teaching etc.

A typical day in the life of a Registrar

Arrive at 08:30 am and catch up with admin/handover etc.

09:00 am: Start ward round with team.

10:00 am: Leave ward round for transplant clinic.

12:30 pm: Catch up with ward team, discuss patients etc.

1:00 pm: Lunch.

1:30 pm: Insert dialysis line.

2:30 pm: Chase results from clinic, dictate clinic, call patients as required. Chase O/S results for inpatients.

4:45 pm: Check no new issues with inpatients.

5:30pm:  Home.

Pros and Cons of working in this specialty


  • Varied working activities
  • Clinical and academic balance
  • Opportunities for sub-specialisation while maintaining generalist skills


  • Intensity of out-of-hours work
  • Lack of Consultant jobs, with highest trainee/Consultant ratio of any medical specialty
How this specialty differs to others and why I chose it 
  • See ‘pros’ above
Tips for success in applying for this specialty
  • Get experience in a renal unit early in training
  • Get involved in activities within the unit early e.g. audit, case report etc
For more information

Edinburgh Renal Unit

The Renal Association