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5 Things a Nephrologist Wants You to Know

As a nephrologist and DaVita’s vice president of outcomes research and patient empowerment, Dr. Francesca Tentori has valuable insights and advice for people with kidney disease. Here are five things to keep in mind and discuss with your doctor:

1. You are still in control of your own care.

While having kidney disease and being on dialysis may make you feel like you have lost control, that’s not entirely true. You can still take charge of your health and play an active role in your care. If you’re not sure about something or you have questions about medications, how you’re feeling or anything else related to your health, don’t be afraid to ask your care team about it. They are there to support you! Together, you can find solutions to help you lead your best life.

2. Taking care of yourself goes beyond your physical health.

While it’s important to care for your body, it’s also important to take care of your mental or spiritual health. The way we feel emotionally can impact the way we feel physically. Staying connected to your friends, family or faith community can go a long way in helping you feel your best.

3. Transplant is a treatment option.

At DaVita, our goal is to help all eligible patients pursue a kidney transplant and to inform those who support them. If you are interested in transplant, the first thing you should do is talk to your doctor. You can use these “Top 8 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Kidney Transplants” to guide your conversation.  

4. Home dialysis is also a treatment option.

If you currently dialyze in-center, dialyzing at home may be an option for you. Up to 25% of people with kidney disease in other countries dialyze at home, and DaVita currently serves more home dialysis patients than any other provider in the U.S. So, talk to your doctor if you’re interested in exploring home dialysis.

5. Set goals for your care.

It’s important to set health goals for yourself and share them with your care team. Here are some things to consider:

  • What are your goals for your everyday treatment?
  • What are some activities or events you’d like to be able to do or attend?
  • What are your wishes if your health condition declines? Planning ahead and documenting your wishes for end-of-life care can help you and your loved ones in the future.


Dr. Francesca Tentori, MD, MS, is the vice president of outcomes research and patient empowerment at DaVita and an adjunct instructor in medicine at Vanderbilt University. She is passionate about integrating the goals and perspectives of individuals with kidney disease into the delivery of high-quality care.

These tips are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Modality selection is a choice made exclusively between the patient and nephrologist.