CIST Forum Held at Clinical Center
They're the clinician researchers and medical scientists of
tomorrow. And for two days in early November, they gathered at
the NIH Clinical Center to learn from seasoned veterans and to
take measure of the shoes they would seek to fill some day.
Schmalfeldt: They're the clinician researchers and medical scientists of tomorrow. And for two days in early November, they gathered at the NIH Clinical Center to learn from seasoned veterans and to take measure of the shoes they would seek to fill some day. It was the sixth annual Clinical Investigator Student Trainee Forum - also known as the CIST Forum.
Ognibene: This event is the largest to date, and 350 medical and dental students from nearly 80 academic medical centers from around the country will be participating. The students represent a heterogeneous and diverse cross section. I'm just very happy to be part of this and to look at the group as not only potential clinical investigators, but also the leaders of academic medicine in the future.
Schmalfeldt: That was Dr. Fredrick P. Ognibene, director of the Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education at the NIH Clinical Center, speaking a couple days before the forum. Students participating in the CIST program take a year off from medical or dental school to get a more hands-on education in the practices and principles of clinical research. Dr. Ognibene said this shows a real motivation on the part of the student.
Ognibene: I think the fact that these are students who are motivated enough to defer their graduation by one year by pursuing an additional year of clinical research indicates they seem to be interested in that as a long-term career. Clearly, the goal of these "year out" programs is to not only expose them to a good clinical research environment, but — to use a phrase — to actually "get the hook into them" so that they become engaged and energized and hopefully keep a career in clinical research in their forefront as they begin the path toward their ultimate career.
Schmalfeldt: Dr. Ognibene talked about what the CIST participants could expect during the two-day forum, November 6th and 7th.
Ognibene: For example, there are two panels that emphasize translational medicine from the bench to the bedside - one focusing on imaging sciences and the other focusing on endocrinology and metabolism. In addition to those formal lectures, they will also have some practical advice given to them in terms of their career development. One panel focuses on the importance of mentoring, both in terms of their personal development, but also the importance of mentors when they become seasoned investigators. Another panel will focus on very practical items like loan repayment programs as well as grant opportunities from both the NIH and external funding.
Schmalfeldt: Dr. Ralph Snyderman, chancellor emeritus at Duke University and James B. Duke professor of Medicine was the forum's keynote speaker. To illustrate the importance of mentoring in the clinical research training environment, one panel discussion focused on a multi-year clinical research study on tuberculosis conducted in South Africa. Dr. Gerald H. Friedland, professor of medicine, epidemiology and public health at Yale University School of Medicine was the lead investigator of that study. He moderated the panel discussion, which included four protégés at various stages in their training. Dr. Ognibene said he considered the CIST program to be a wise investment on the part of a would-be clinical investigator.
Ognibene: Well, for those that are contemplating a "year out" to do clinical or translational research, I would certainly say that it's a very wise thing to do and there are many opportunities. I would certainly hope that they would consider the NIH Clinical Center as a place to do this. That would certainly be our goal. But I would also indicate that all of the programs are very strong and have wonderful opportunities in training these future clinical researchers.
Schmalfeldt: Students participating in the CIST Forum include Howard Hughes Medical Institute, or HHMI - NIH research scholars and HHMI medical fellows; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation clinical research fellows; students sponsored by the NIH's National Center for Research Resources/Clinical and Translational Science Awards programs; NIH Clinical Research Training Program fellows; Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation fellows; Applied Epidemiology Fellowship participants at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars; and the NIH M.D./Ph.D Partnership Training Program fellows.
Ognibene: Dr. John Gallin, who is the director of the NIH Clinical Center, has been responsible for a large part of the vision for this particular event, and has been instrumental in working together with the different partnering organizations that send students to the Clinical Investigator Student Trainee Forum, and has also been very generous in providing the NIH Clinical Center as the host institution for this now sixth annual event.
Schmalfeldt: For more information about the CIST program at NIH and the clinical research being done every day at the NIH Clinical Center, log on to http://clinicalcenter.nih.gov. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Bill Schmalfeldt in Bethesda, Md.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Bill Schmalfeldt
Sound Bite: Dr. Fredrick P. Ognibene
Topic: Clinical Investigator Student Trainee Forum