A nephrologist is a physician who has been trained in the diagnosis and management of kidney disease, by regulating blood pressure, regulating electrolytes, balancing fluids in the body, and administering dialysis.

Nephrologists treat many different kidney disorders including acid-base disorders, electrolyte disorders, nephrolithiasis (kidney stones), hypertension (high blood pressure), acute kidney disease and end-stage renal disease. Nephrology is a subspecialty of internal medicine.

The information that a nephrologist learns in training includes, the medical management of acute and chronic renal failure, glomerular and vascular disorders, tubular/interstitial disorders, mineral metabolism, clinical pharmacology, hypertension, epidemiology, and nutrition.

Procedures used by a nephrologist include native and transplant kidney biopsies, ultrasound guidance, placement of temporary dialysis catheters, placement of tunneled hemodialysis catheters and placement of peritoneal dialysis catheters.

Patients are referred to nephrology specialists for various reasons, such as:

Acute renal failure, a sudden loss of renal function,Chronic kidney disease, declining renal function,  usually with an inexorable rise in creatinine. Hematuria, blood in the urine Proteinuria, the loss of protein especially albumin in the urine, Kidney stones, usually only recurrent stone formers. Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infections, Hypertension that has failed to respond to multiple forms of antihypertensive medication or could have a secondary cause Electrolyte disorders or acid/base imbalance