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Clinical Electives Program: Pediatric Consult Service

Four-Week Session

Prerequisite: Completion of basic clerkships in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine are required.

Rotation Coordinator:
David Lang, MD, MPH

Deborah P. Merke, MD, MS
Chief, Pediatric Services

Rotation Description
The NIH Clinical Center (CC) is the clinical research facility of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Each year, approximately 3,000 children participate in more than 500 research protocols conducted by investigators from 16 institutes and centers. Pediatric and adolescent patients enrolled in NIH studies have a wide variety of conditions, mostly rare diseases, including hematologic, immunologic, endocrine, genetic, rheumatologic, and mental health disorders. Students become part of the Pediatric Consult Team and have the opportunity to see patients in the inpatient and outpatient setting. The Pediatric Consult Service provides pediatric consultation and care to any child in the CC at the request of the patient's research physicians. Consult requests include general pediatric evaluations, comanagement of rare diseases, treatment of acute illnesses, assistance with minor procedures, and ongoing monitoring of pediatric issues such as growth and development. The student will join the Pediatric Consult Team and take part in the diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care of a wide spectrum of medical problems occurring in patients participating in research protocols. These activities frequently require extensive interaction between the Pediatric Consult Service, the research team, and other CC departments such as Laboratory Medicine, Radiology, and Nutrition. An essential part of providing medical consultation in the CC environment requires review of existing literature and learning about new clinical and/or research tools pertinent to the presenting clinical problem. In complicated cases, the Pediatric staff assists in coordination of patient care utilizing multiple sources of expertise.

Students are expected to review in depth a relevant pediatric topic of his or her choice and present a 45 minute talk at the end of their rotation.  Students will attend clinical rounds, grand rounds, research seminars and various lectures.

Rotation Objectives

  • Provide unique clinical experience of providing optimum interdisciplinary care for patients with multiple medical problems in a research environment.
  • Learn the consulting skills needed to formulate a diagnostic and therapeutic plan.
  • Effectively communicate information to patient, family, patient care team, and nursing staff.
  • Review and present a relevant pediatric topic.


  • David Lang, MD
  • Deborah Merke, MD, MS

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This page last updated on 11/03/2022

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