Please note: This is the general version of the course: Chronic Kidney Disease. No pharmacology credits will be earned. Click here to take the pharmacology version.

Course Summary

The care of individuals with chronic kidney disease includes a complete physical assessment, health screening to aid in diagnosing a disease, and the development of a holistic health plan throughout the disease. When kidney disease becomes chronic, there are unique and often challenging aspects of care that can develop, including dietary and lifestyle changes, the use of pharmaceutical agents, dialysis, and surgical interventions. Patients and families require ongoing support and education about what to anticipate throughout a chronic disease and the treatment plan. The biopsychosocial aspects of having a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease require health teams to adopt an integrated approach to caring for affected individuals and families.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  • Introduction
  • Epidemiology and Statistics
  • Pathophysiology of CKD
  • Complications of CKD
    • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Fluid and Electrolyte Disturbances
    • Hematologic Disorders
    • Metabolic Acidosis
  • Diagnosis of CKD
    • History and Physical Exam
    • Laboratory and Imaging Testing
    • Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate and Screening Tests
  • Complications of CKD and Treatment
    • Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension
    • Acid-Base Disorders
    • Anemia
    • Bone and Mineral Metabolism
    • Electrolyte Disturbances
    • Dietary Recommendations and Malnutrition
    • Nephrotoxic Agents and Renal Toxicity
  • Renal Replacement Therapies
  • Case Study: CKD in a 71-Year-Old Male
  • Summary


Marilyn Lajoie, MD, DC, CCSP

Dr. Marilyn Lajoie obtained her medical degree from Saba University School of Medicine in 1999, Her residency began with one year of Anatomical and Surgical Pathology at Orlando Regional Medical Center, before transferring within the same post-graduate residency program to Internal Medicine. Upon completion of residency, she went into private practice in Orlando, where she specialized in Internal Medicine, Sports Medicine and Rehab, as well as acute and chronic pain management. Before becoming a medical doctor, she had practiced as a Chiropractic Physician, graduating from New York Chiropractic College in 1980, practicing initially on Long Island, N.Y., before moving to Florida where she had a successful chiropractic practice and physical rehabilitation center, and gained recognition as a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician. Dr. Lajoie was also the Director of Physical Therapy at Horizon Hospital, a residential and outpatient psychiatric hospital, and later, continued in the same capacity at Horizon’s sister psychiatric hospital in Brooksville, Florida. Dr. Lajoie maintained her chiropractic license and continued to practice both Internal Medicine and Chiropractic throughout private practice, until moving to the Veterans Healthcare System in 2014. Continuing in both fields, she became the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Montana VA, where she completed her service in 2021. Dr. Lajoie now works predominantly in telemedicine, and in an Expert Witness capacity for both medical and chiropractic cases. Still living in Montana, she enjoys being able to treat not only the rural areas of the state through this technology, but also patients across the US where she maintains multiple active state licenses. She and her husband also own a llama ranch with over thirty llamas that are hand selected for rare genetics. At the llama ranch, the public is invited to come and visit to learn about these elegant creatures, and to see ranch life firsthand – llama style! Dr. Lajoie and her husband have six adult children, as well as seven dogs.

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