The Kidney Diet Challenge: An Experiential Educational Experience

Sayna Norouzi*, Kyle S. Liu, Edlyn Bustamante, Ton La, William E. Mitch, Kurtis Pivert, Kristen A. Staggers, Blake Shusterman, Christina M. Yuan, Rajeev Raghavan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background Health care providers who care for patients with CKD must be able to provide effective counseling about a kidney-friendly diet. Nutrition is underemphasized in medical curricula, and the kidney diet is one of the most challenging diets. We hypothesized that participation in an experiential educational program in kidney diet would result in improved knowledge of the underlying principles behind it and provide concrete examples of how to explain this diet to patients. Methods The first part of this study was a knowledge assessment administered to all US nephrology fellows during the 2020 National Board of Medical Examiners Nephrology In-Training Examination. We later opened the assessment to a broader, global audience via social media. Respondents included trainees, practicing nephrologists, dieticians, and other health professionals. Participants self-identified willingness to participate in the second part of the study, the Kidney Diet Challenge (KDC). The 5-day challenge included daily webinars by experts in nutrition. Daily surveys captured self-reported adherence to the diet. Social media was used to engage with participants. All participants received a follow-up knowledge assessment. Results Among the nephrology fellows (n=317), the median pretest score was 2 out of 5 (40%) questions correct, and results did not differ by year of training (P=0.31). Of the participants (n=70) who completed the 5-day challenge and responded to the post-challenge survey, the distribution of the number of correct answers improved after the KDC (median [25th, 75th percentile]: 3 [2, 3] versus 3 [2, 4]; P<0.001). Statistics from our official hashtag for this study (#kidneydietchallenge) showed that we achieved 406,241 reaches and 1,004,799 impressions, with a total of 974 posts using this hashtag. Conclusions The KDC is an immersive, experiential educational tool that enabled a global population to learn how to counsel their patients better about adherence to a complex kidney diet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • chronic kidney disease
  • clinical nephrology
  • education
  • kidney diet
  • nephrology fellows
  • problem-based learning


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