Duke University Medical and Nursing Schools, Durham VA Join National Clinician Scholars Program

April 3, 2018

The National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP), an interdisciplinary, community-partnered research program for physicians and nurses, has added a new institution to its prestigious consortium: Duke University.

“Duke is the perfect site to join us at this time,” said Linda Sarna, PhD, RN, FAAN, national board chair for the NCSP and dean of the UCLA School of Nursing. “They already have a strong community focus, and their nursing and medical schools are ranked among the top in the country.”

The NCSP was launched two years ago with four founding sites: UCLA, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Michigan. The program offers the opportunity for post-doctoral nurses (DNP and PhD) and physicians who have completed their clinical training to serve as leaders, researchers, and change agents in health care, community health, and public policy as full partners.

“As a former Clinical Scholar, I couldn’t be more excited that Duke is invited to join this terrific group of universities and Veterans Administration programs. Located in the Southeast at a world-class, interdisciplinary university, we have a unique opportunity to train the next generation of scholars in impactful work study in the social determinants of health and both rural and urban disparities,” said Eliana Perrin, MD, MPH, one of the program directors for Duke’s NCSP School of Medicine.

Marion E. Broome, PhD, RN, Dean of the Duke University School of Nursing and an NCSP program director, added “The Duke Schools of Nursing and Medicine have a rich tradition of collaboration in research, teaching, and practice. The NCSP program provides us with the opportunity to not only build upon our existing collaborations but to take them to a new level as we work to shape the next generation of healthcare scientists.”

Mary E. Klotman, MD, Dean of Duke University School of Medicine, concurred: “I am very pleased that Duke has joined this impressive group of our peers and our own Duke School of Nursing to facilitate this unique program. Our shared goal is to train and mentor physicians and nurses so they can impact our patients and community in the most positive way.”

All sites have an educational partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs, which supports numerous VA NCSP fellows each year. These fellows are committed to addressing health and policy issues relevant to Veterans. As part of their fellowships, they will have the opportunity to conduct clinical work, research, and apply for policy internships.

“The Durham VA is committed to supporting our future scholars with experienced mentors and access to the nation’s largest integrated health system,” said NCSP Program Director and VA Liaison Eugene Oddone, MD, MHSc.

Each site has also created a local community of partners that identify regional health challenges and recruit scholars to address these challenges, with the goal of eliminating health disparities in their communities. Research projects undertaken through the program will be embedded in, and informed by, the community so that scholars will be able to make a meaningful impact even as they receive their education.

These community-embedded projects make up the core of the two-year training experience; scholars will also partake in an innovative curriculum to build a robust set of skills in organizational and social change, applied translational research methodology, community engagement, program development and evaluation, team management, communication, and leadership.

Since its inception, the NCSP has accepted a total of 89 scholars, and the first cohort will finish in June.

Applications for all sites will open May 1.