Your First Visit To A Kidney Doctor

Your First Visit To A Kidney Doctor

A kidney doctor, also known as a nephrologist, has specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of health issues impacting the kidneys. Patients are typically referred to a nephrologist due to symptoms, test results or atypical symptoms that indicated the possibility of a kidney function problem or disease.

Going to a kidney doctor for the first time can be overwhelming. It helps to have a general understanding of what you can expect, so you feel prepared and have the necessary information for the doctor.

The Paperwork

Even if you are being referred by a doctor operating out of the same umbrella medical center, you will be required to fill in the necessary paperwork. It is helpful to bring a list of all your current medications and any current test results relevant to your referral.

Additionally, list all your medical doctors, including alternative health care providers you are seeing. Bring their names and phone numbers as well as other contact information as available.

If possible, ask your current doctor for a copy of your medical history. You may also want to check to make sure this is currently based on the health of your immediate family members (parents and siblings).

You will also be asked to report on your diet and lifestyle habits. This includes information about your diet, if you smoke or consume alcohol or if you use specific types of prescription or non-prescription medications. Be honest and accurate to help your kidney doctor.


For most patients, you will be asked to provide a urine and a blood test at your initial meeting. You may also be required to complete a kidney ultrasound that is a non-invasive imagining option. These tests will help the nephrologist to understand the current health of the kidneys and to plan a treatment or management plan that will help preserve kidney functioning into the future.

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