Nephrology is a specialty of medicine and paediatrics that concerns itself with the kidneys: the study of normal kidney function and kidney problems, the preservation of kidney health, and the treatment of kidney problems, from diet and medication to renal replacement therapy (dialysis and kidney transplantation). Systemic conditions that affect the kidneys (such as diabetes and autoimmune disease) and systemic problems that occur as a result of kidney problems (such as renal osteodystrophy and hypertension) are also studied in nephrology. A physician who has undertaken additional training to become an expert in nephrology may call themselves a nephrologists or renal physician.
The term “nephrology” was first used in about 1960. Before then, the specialty was usually referred to as “kidney medicine.”