“The idea of the game is you’re supposed to learn kidney physiology as you play it and it’s supposed to be kind of fun and engaging,” said Dr. Glenn, who explained that the game is geared to medical students, residents, and nephrology fellows.
Nephropoly includes fun twists and turns for players and is reminiscent of classic board games, which Dr. Glenn described as "a mix of Chutes and Ladders and Monopoly."
The creation of Nephropoly came about as a response to the 2015 American Society of Nephrology Innovations in Kidney Education Contest, which asked the kidney community to submit ideas for innovative tools to teach medical students and residents aspects of kidney physiology.
Dr. Glenn submitted the Nephropoly game idea and was chosen in April as one of the finalists in the contest, which allowed him and his team to develop the concept and create a model.
This month, the ASN notified Dr. Glenn that Nephropoly was selected as one of the 3 winners in the contest, with a prize of $5,000, including the opportunity to present the game at ASN Kidney Week in San Diego, CA in early November.
Dr. Glenn said that many individuals have contributed to the creation of the game. The game board features an illustration of a glomerulus from Dr. Charles Jennette, Executive Director at the UNC Division of Nephropathology. Pathology question cards will also feature photos from kidney biopsies.
Questions have been contributed by adult nephrology fellows, pathology fellows, medical students, and nephrologists.
“It’s been a group effort to bring it where it is right now,” he said.
Additional question cards are still needed for the game to be complete.
Those who would like to contribute questions to the game can do so on this web site here:
How to Play Nephropoly
Players start in the glomerulus.
After answering 2 questions correctly in the glomerulus, players can proceed to the proximal tubule and along other parts of the nephron all the way to the Finish.
Six color-coded categories of question cards represent different segments of the nephron:
- Proximal Convoluted Tubule
- Loop of Henle
- Distal Convoluted Tubule
- Collecting Duct
Once in the proximal tubule, players risk the chance of landing on an orange space and getting “reabsorbed” back to the beginning of the game. Players will also want to watch out for the “cyst” spaces, which they can get stuck on until they answer a Pathology question card correctly.