NIH Clinical Center

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3  Training the next generation

Departmental training programs. The NIH Dietetic Internship, fully accredited by the American Dietetic Association, was established in 1993 as a national program for training dietetic interns for careers in nutrition research. The program provides experiences that meet all competencies for entry-level dietitians, but emphasizes clinical and research skills. This highly competitive program has successfully recruited and trained 44 students, over half of whom have continued with their education and enrolled in graduate degree programs. Three former interns have attended medical school and are now practicing physicians. On July 1, 2004, three interns graduated from the program.

The nursing department’s well-known clinical research training program draws nationally from students, new graduates, and senior clinicians who qualify based on their school achievements and interest in clinical research. In the summer of 2004, the department hosted eight summer students and one PHS Junior COSTEP (Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program), all from minority backgrounds. Several were returning because of a positive earlier experience. The neuroscience internship program, jointly sponsored with NINDS, drew six highly qualified interns, and the oncology fellowship program, jointly sponsored with NCI, drew 10 fellows. Both of these programs target new graduate nurses with an interest in the clinical specialty and in clinical research. Graduates from these programs occupy current positions of leadership at the NIH and in the outside community. The nursing department jointly sponsored a postdoctoral fellowship with the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. The first fellow completed the program in 2004, and joined the department’s health disparities research program. A second fellowship will be offered in summer 2005, this time through the National Coalition of Minority Nursing Associations. The nursing department also implemented a pilot program for a predoctoral clinical fellowship for internal NIH nurses who have demonstrated success early in a doctoral program, have identified a career interest in clinical research, and have a dissertation topic aligned with programs at the Clinical Center. Two fellows were selected for support, which includes release time for dissertation-driven research activities. Their areas of interest: hematology/oncology and transplants.

The Clinical Center pharmacy department offers three specialized postgraduate training programs. American Society of Health System Pharmacists-accredited residencies have been offered since the mid-1970s and currently specialized Society of Health System Pharmacists programs are available in Oncology Pharmacy Practice and Primary Care Pharmacy Practice. A two-year research fellowship in Pharmacokinetics/ Pharmacogenetics, the newest entry, was begun in June of 2004. These programs have graduated over 100 pharmacists since their inception.

Clinical Fellows Committee In 2004 Dr. Gallin created the Clinical Fellows Committee. Clinical fellows representing all institutes propose topics for discussion, which have included a proposed new position to bridge the fellow experience and tenure-track positions, the proposed development of a survey to assess the quality of clinical services, and the impact on fellows of proposed conflict of interest policies.

Dr. Stephen Rosenfeld, left, the Clinical Center's new chief information officer, relaxes with Dr. Cliff Lane, NIAID clinical director.
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