Ready to Play? The NephroWorldCup 2022 Makes a Sport Out of Science

Xavier Parada, MD; Carlos Orantes, MD;  Tejas P. Desai, MD


October 24, 2022

Have you ever wondered what could happen if you combined your love of science and sport? We dared to imagine it.

Many of us love the dynamism and concreteness of science combined with the competitiveness and fun of sports. In 2017, we decided to merge these two loves.

In fact, 16 cardiovascular-renal-metabolic (CVRM) enthusiasts from around the world shared this passion, and together created something to fuel our love of science and sport: The Tournament.

Conceived in 2017, the first NephroWorldCup originated as a way to combine the multicultural efforts of professionals who were passionate about social media and medical education. We came up with the idea of linking the most famous sporting event in the world, the FIFA World Cup, with our love for CVRM education. Scheduled for the next year, the FIFA World Cup showcased 32 nations competing in the celebrated quadrennial event. We designed the NephroWorldCup with key elements from this sporting event.

Sixteen organizers from 11 countries came together and selected papers from 32 countries, the same 32 competing in the FIFA tournament. Once the 32 articles were selected, we created scouting reports for each of these nations. Scouting reports showcased the article along with pertinent kidney facts for that country. This hybridization of sport with science and kidney trivia made the reports a more enjoyable reading experience.

The 2018 NephroWorldCup was a fresh take on gamification in medical education. The world seemed to agree because despite having no allocated funds, 181 individuals from 43 countries registered to play. They competed against each other to select the best manuscripts and science from around the world. And by intentionally democratizing scholarly work produced outside traditional centers and universities, we accomplished two larger goals: (1) giving a voice to those scientists who deserved one and (2) creating a fun educational experience.

Now, in 2022, as we approach the next FIFA World Cup (November), we've kept key aspects of the 2018 Tournament that were successful and redesigned everything else. The new NephroWorldCup comes with several enhancements that will make for a more valuable educational experience.

First, we've given an increased voice to the global pool of CVRM experts by including their contributions within the scouting reports. Nearly all of these experts have created content exclusively for the 2022 Tournament.

Next, we've designed an interactive and real-time Players Dashboard that will show each player their position, predictions for future performance, and generally fuel a healthy competitive spirit!

Last, to award those who have excelled in the Tournament, we thank the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), the European Renal Association (ERA), and the European Society of Organ Transplantation (ESOT) whose generosity allows us to offer 15 educationally focused prizes to the top players.

Nephrology education is in an exciting time. New online learning tools continue to emerge, and we hope that the Tournament inspires CVRM enthusiasts to learn and play.

After all, the NephroWorldCup Tournament is born from our love of science and sport!

Visit to learn how to play and win. The Tournament starts November 1.

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