In the Spring of 2014, Swapnil asked Joel if he would start a nephrology journal club in twitter. Joel was knee deep in NephMadness at the time and told Swapnil to write up a description of how the journal club would work, half hoping that Swap would quickly lose interest, never finish it, and that would be the end of it. However, Swap wrote that up, published it on Medium, and the first NephJC followed a few weeks later. Topf and Hiremath started the ball rolling, but the journal club truly belongs to the community and everyone who contributes. In the last couple of years we have assembled a bespoke workgroup to direct NephJC and handle the myriad administrative duties that come with the project.

About NephJC

NephJC is an online medical journal club. We utilize the nephrology (and related specialties) Twitter community to generate discussion and review current literature related to nephrology. It is open to anyone: we regularly have nephrologists, residents, fellows, cardiologists, internists, urologists, radiologists, pharmacologists, and patients contribute to the discussion. We have a website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page. In 2018 NephJC formed a not-for-profit organization and was granted 503c3 status by the Internal Revenue Service, so donations are tax deductible. The money is used to support and extend NephJC’s mission. If you are interested in supporting us take a look here. What’s our mission you ask?

Mission Statement

NephJC’s mission is to increase free open access medical education (FOAMed) pertaining to nephrology, hypertension, and transplantation. NephJC does this primarily by hosting Twitter chats about the latest high impact research in nephrology and related fields. NephJC also participates in, sponsors, and supports activities that strengthen the nephrology social network, #NephTwitter. One of the primary ways NephJC supports #NephTwitter is through the nephrology Social Medial Collective (NSMC) internship. The NSMC internship is training healthcare professionals to utilize and contribute to the nephrology social network.  

The Mechanics

The NephJC live chat occurs in three time zones, two times a month: every other Tuesday at 9PM Eastern Time for the Americas, and the day after, at 9pm IST and 9 PM GMT on every other Wednesday for the Asian and European communities. About a week before the Twitter discussion, we post background and a summary of the article at The live chat is an hour-long discussion on Twitter. A summary of the conversation is captured as a twitter moment, a wakelet, or by embedding tweets in a wrap up post with the Twitter transcript.

Nothing about us without us

We try to reach out to patients with kidney disease to comment on the studies we discuss. Getting the patient perspective is too often forgotten in academic journal clubs. NephJC is trying to keep everyone involved. Read the patient commentaries.

Visual abstracts

NephJC in collaboration with the interns and faculty of the NSMC create a visual abstract for every article discussed.


In 2019 NephJC started its own podcast, Freely Filtered. This is a round table discussion about the most recent NephJC article. The members of the Freely Filtered are: Joel Topf, Samira Farouk, Matt Sparks, Swapnil Hiremath, and Jennie Lin.  

Read a good book every now and then

The NephJC Book Club is an annual tradition. Every summer we blog our way through a book of medical interest and have a Twitter-based book club discussion.

In 2015 we started the book club with Atul Gawande's, Being Mortal

In 2016 we read Eric Topol's, The Patient Will See You Now

In 2017 we read Vanessa Grubb's, Hundreds of Interlaced Fingers

In 2018 we read Siddhartha Mukherjee’s ‘The Laws of Medicine’.

In 2019 we read Andrew Bomback’s Doctor (Object Lessons)

Publish or perish

The NephJC work group knows something about academic medicine and we have taken to our keyboards to contribute what we have learned running a productive online medical journal club. 

The NephJC Team

NephJC Hosts

Anna Burgner, Dearbhla Kelly, Ben Stewart, Matt Sparks, Tom Oates, Francesco Iannuzzella, Silvi Shah, Ian Logan, Matt Graham-Brown, Scherly Leon, Michelle Rheault, Swapnil Hiremath, Joel Topf, Gates Colbert, Hector Madariaga, Bea Concepcion, Omar Taco, Cathy Quinlan, Annabel Biruete, Pablo Garcia, Samira Farouk, Maryam Khosravi, Divya Bajpai, Jennie Lin, Aakash Shingada, Sinead Stoneman, Laura Slattery, Benjamin Stewart, Beje Thomas,  NSMC Interns 


Visual Abstract Designers

Joel Topf, Matt Sparks, Michelle Rheault, Pablo Garcia, NSMC interns


NephJC curators

Hector Madariaga, Mohamed Elraggal, Swapnil Hiremath, NSMC interns


Scientific Advisory team

F. Perry Wilson and  Laurie Tomlinson (statistics/epidemiology); Matt Sparks (animal models) and Jennie Lin (omics); Anthony Chang (Pathology)


NephJC Stats Blogger

Manasi Bapat


NephJC Advisory team

Paul Phelan, Nikhil Shah, Edgar Lerma, Graham Abra, Raymond Hsu, Suzanne Norby, David Goldfarb, Richard McCrory, Brian Byrd, Roger Rodby, Aisha Shaikh


NephJC Newsletter Team

Gates Colbert, Swapnil Hiremath, Joel Topf

NephJC PodCast- Freely Filtered

Joel Topf, Jennie Lin, Samira Farouk, Matt Sparks, Swapnil Hiremath

Learn more & connect with us

Check out the NephJC webpage.

Check out the NephJC #VisualAbstracts

Like NephJC on Facebook.

Follow @nephjc on Twitter.

Email NephJC at

Buy NephJC merchandise

Sign up for the NephJC newsletter.