Sandra M. Herrmann, M.D.

What attracted you to nephrology?

My interest in nephrology dates back to my first year of medical school in Brazil. I remember that I found the renal physiology classes truly fascinating. Later on during my clinical rotations, it was the interplay of physiology and pathology that further strengthened my interest in nephrology.

Moreover, I wanted to pursue a specialty area of internal medicine that would provide me with tools to understand the patient as a whole. Along these lines, I found the broad spectrum and the multispecialty aspect of the diagnosis and management of renal diseases very appealing.

What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for fellowship training?

After finishing my residency in internal medicine and nephrology in Brazil, I was focused on pursuing a career in academics and research. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to come to Mayo Clinic for a postdoctoral fellowship in a laboratory focused on physiology and biophysics, and I experienced Mayo Clinic's unique, world-class excellence.

So after completing my research fellowship, I was eager to pursue a clinical fellowship in nephrology at an institution that not only had internationally renowned experts in various areas of nephrology, but also placed equal emphasis on academic medicine and patient care.

What makes Mayo Clinic subspecialty training in nephrology unique?

The Nephrology Fellowship is a very structured program and provides several outstanding opportunities for clinical and pathology training, as well as research. The staff physicians are very committed to education.

Further, I found it extremely unique and appealing that you can easily call one of the world's experts to discuss any rare and unique case. I am sure the knowledge and leadership experiences I have gained over my years of training will ensure future opportunities in academic medicine.

Did anything surprise you about Mayo's program?

The efficiency at Mayo is truly surprising. Mayo Clinic is very structured, and things get done very smoothly. Nurses, allied health professionals and physicians work as a team. Everyone helps one another and actively participates in discussions on rounds to provide better patient care.

What is living in Rochester, Minn., like for you?

People are very friendly and happy to help. The hospital is definitely the center of the city. Rochester is a small city; it is very easy to live here, especially if you have a family with kids. However, despite it being a small city, people from all over the world come to Mayo either temporarily or long term, which brings cultural diversity.

What does your future look like right now?

I will be done with fellowship training in 2013. My future goal is to continue an academic career in nephrology and hypertension. I am very confident that my years of training in the Nephrology Fellowship will help me accomplish this goal.

May 31, 2012