The NIH Clinical Center is the clinical research hospital of the National Institutes of Health. Its mission is to provide the environment to translate clinical research into the understanding, detection, treatment and prevention of disease.
More than a thousand clinical research studies are conducted at the Clinical Center. About half are natural history studies looking at disease process. The rest are mostly treatment studies. Most are the early (Phase 1 and 2) trials that are the first applications of research findings into new treatments and therapies in people.
As a research facility, only patients with the precise kind or stage of illness under investigation are admitted for treatment. There are no labor and delivery services or other services common to community hospitals. Areas of clinical study include aging; alcohol abuse and alcoholism; allergy, arthritis, musculoskeletal and skin diseases; cancer; child health; chronic pain; deafness and other communication disorders; dental and orofacial disorders; diabetes; digestive and kidney diseases; eye disorders; heart, lung, and blood diseases; infectious diseases; medical genetics; mental health; and neurological disorders and stroke.
The Clinical Center admits approximately 6,000 inpatients a year and accommodates about 100,000 outpatient visits a year. Patients come from across the United States and around the world and represent a diverse population in terms of disease as well as nationality, cultural background and language. Clinical Center patients are partners in the research process.
The Clinical Center is also a resource for training clinical investigators, many of whom advance to distinguished careers as leaders in academic medicine. A curriculum in clinical research assures that clinical investigators are uniformly well trained in the broad issues of clinical research, such as epidemiology, biostatistics, and ethical and legal issues.
Clinical Center employees are all part of the exciting process of advancing medical research. Opportunities are available for physicians, nurses, technologists, technicians, therapists, dieticians and administrators, among other professions.