Northwest Indiana Nephrology’s Dr. Kristoph Giricz was born on the southside of Chicago before moving to the region with his family as a teenager. Giricz and his family ultimately ended up in Schererville, where he now practices as a nephrologist.
Giricz attended Indiana University for his undergraduate studies and also attended medical school at the Indiana University School of Medicine. After medical school, Giricz completed his residency at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University.
“After I went to Northwestern, I went back to Indiana University for a fellowship and after the that I came back to Chicago,” Giricz said. “Basically, I’ve been in the area ever since. When I got done with training I came back and started working with the group (American Renal Associates) and I’ve been here since 2006.”
Giricz’ decision to enter into renal care was brought about by some personal experiences that his immediate family had had with kidney disease.
“When I was in medical school my grandfather was on dialysis,” Giricz said. “I kind of got interested in it that way. He hated dialysis and it really consumed his life.”
“I was thinking that maybe one day I could make it not so bad for these folks that have to go through it,” he said. “That was part of my decision process and at the same time, when I was a medical student, the group that I’m with, including Dr. Ashbach, would give lectures at Indiana University where I was training.”
At the time, Giricz was interested in renal physiology and he was enticed by the lectures that doctors, like NWI Nephrology’s own Dr. David Ashbach, were giving at Indiana University.
“They were great lecturers and that kind of sparked an interest, those two things,” Giricz said.
Along with meeting doctors from Northwest Indiana Nephrology during this time, Giricz also had the opportunity to take on a shift and work with the region-based renal care provider which ultimately led to his joining the team..
“It was during medical school that, at some point, I contacted Dr. Ashbach to do a rotation up here as a medical student. I got to meet everybody and we connected really well. When I was done with training I came back and interviewed, and they offered me a position.”
Recently, Dr. Giricz and the team at Northwest Indiana Nephrology, and American Renal Associates (ARA), has expanded to meet the renal care needs of patients across the region.
“Unfortunately, the dialysis population is always expanding and we don’t have a cure for kidney disease,” Giricz said. “The amount of dialysis patients keeps, unfortunately, going up and up and ARA gave us the ability to tailor the care to our standards where we’re in more control over the dialysis aspect of their care.” “It’s more physician-centered care that they receive at ARA. The people that are here we’ve kind of able to hand pick so we know the quality that they bring to the table. I always say that, ‘The dialysis unit is just a building, it’s the people inside that make it special,’ and that’s what we have here at ARA.”
In speaking about the how dialysis and renal care has changed in recent years, Giricz said, “Dialysis has come a long way. At the time, when my grandfather was going through it, I wasn’t educated enough to know why he was having those problems, but the dialysis is better and, thankfully, I think there are more transplant options available.
“There aren’t as many barriers as there used to be and the medicine is just better. Dialysis is kind of a bridge to transplant, hopefully, for most people and if there’s no other option we have to just do the best we can to make for an uplifting environment.”
“It’s hard,” Giricz concluded. “It’s chronic illness, it doesn’t go away and it’s part of your life, and it’s there every day. You’re constantly reminded that you have this disease and you have to do it (dialysis) to keep living. I think the attitude and the optimism that people bring with them when they’re caring for the patient is probably as important, or more important, than anything we actually do for them.”
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