Nephrology is the study of kidneys. It is a branch of medicine concerning kidney function, kidney problems, treatment of kidney problems and renal replacement therapy. Nephrology comes from the Greek word nephros, meaning kidney or renal, and the suffix -ology, meaning the study of.
The first known usage of nephrology dates back to 1842. Medical specialists in nephrology are called nephrologists or renal physicians. Nephrologists are educated in internal medicine, then participate in more advanced training to become specialists in treating people with kidney diseases. Patients can be referred to nephrologists for various reasons, including acute kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, hematuria, proteinuria and kidney stones.