Reflections on the Young Nephrologists Committee – COVID and Beyond
Gavin Dreyer – Outgoing YNC Chair
The last two years as the Young Nephrologists Committee (YNC) chair have been the highlight of my professional career. It is hard to describe the joy I feel chairing meetings and leading such an exceptional committee of young nephrologists.
The diversity of the committee, now including members of the Kidney Allied Health Professionals group, is our strength. This diversity has produced vibrant representation and advocacy for improving global kidney care. Sharing ideas, solving problems, and representing global young nephrologists within the ISN is at the heart of our committee’s values.
The pandemic did not disrupt YNC’s ideals but has placed a huge strain on the ISN’s younger members. We heard directly from YNC members and their colleagues about the indescribable pressures and loss the pandemic was imposing on them. A tragic explosion in Lebanon, witnessed first-hand by one of our members, caused the loss of so much life. Throughout these disruptive events and others, the YNC has remained active and focused, drawing attention to the critical role that the ISN’s younger members have in patient care as well as in the coordination and leadership of the services that deliver this care.
Moving forward, we are looking to expand our interaction with young nephrologists globally. We will launch the “Young Nephrologists Network” to bring early-career professionals closer to the committee and the ISN. This new forum will provide a topic-based platform to share ideas, increase networking, and help develop a greater sense of community.
There are exceptional opportunities for young nephrologists to evolve within the ISN. The Emerging Leaders Program is just one of many such initiatives and deserves special mention here because it acknowledges the importance of young nephrologists as future leaders in global kidney care.
This year at WCN’21, the YNC had a prime-time slot in the program – the first-ever for our committee! We enjoyed sharing our successes and future plans with the global nephrology community. Our invited speakers represented the very ethos of ISN Programs, and we were thrilled to present awards for the best abstracts by young nephrologists in 2020 and 2021.
It is with great pleasure that I hand the leadership of the YNC over to two of the most amazing women I have ever had the privilege to work with and to know. Dr. Marina Wainstein and Dr. Sabine Karam are exceptional clinicians, leaders, and passionate advocates. The committee will flourish in their hands, and I will watch them and the YNC with enormous pride for many years to come.
I hope I have left the YNC in a better place than when I joined it – it feels like it. I will always look back on my time as a YNC member and leader with a fondness that is hard to describe with words. I wish the committee all the best for the future.