Kidney Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

12. What health care professionals can I see for kidney disease?

Below is a description of different types of health care providers you may see and the role that they play in your treatment.

  • Primary Care Provider. (Doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant) – The primary care provider is the person you see for routine medical visits, including management of chronic (ongoing) conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Nephrologist. A nephrologist is a doctor who is a kidney specialist. You may be referred to a nephrologist if you have a complicated case of kidney disease, your kidney disease is progressing quickly, or your kidney disease is at an advanced stage.
  • Registered Dietitian. A dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who teaches people how to change what they eat for any number of conditions.
  • Nurse. A nurse may help with your treatment and is likely to teach you about kidney disease monitoring and treatment, as well as self-management for one or more of your conditions.
  • Diabetes Educator. A diabetes educator is an expert at helping people with diabetes gain knowledge and self-management skills needed to take care of themselves and their diabetes.
  • Pharmacist. A pharmacist is trained to prepare, distribute, and educate patients about medicines.
  • Renal Social Worker. A renal social worker may work for a chronic kidney disease management program or in a dialysis center. A renal social worker's job is to help people (and their families) deal with the life changes that come with having kidney disease and kidney failure.

See more information about health care providers for people with kidney disease.