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Summer Internship

UTHSC Division of Endocrinology Integrated Clinical and Research Experience (I-CARE) Internship Program for High School Seniors and Undergraduates 

Founder Director: Sam Dagogo-Jack, MD, DSc

Administrative Director: Patricia Hill

Executive Summary

Created in 2017, the purpose of the UTHSC Integrated Clinical and Research Experience

(I-CARE) Program is to provide an empowering summer internship experience for high school seniors and undergraduate science majors as a means of stimulating their interest in pursuing future careers in healthcare.  Several internship programs in existence focus on either “shadowing” doctors at work or immersion in bench training and laboratory skills.  The I-CARE is unique in offering an integrated bench to clinic exposure for interns. Designed as a 10-week summer program, selected interns rotate through the following experiences:

  1. Bench Research Experience:
  • Laboratory Skills focusing on molecular biological techniques
  • Laboratory Skills focusing on analytical biochemical and hormone assay techniques
  • Data collection, analysis, and mining skills
  1. Clinical Research Experience
  • Socialization to the clinical research environment (volunteers, nurses, equipment)
  • Introduction to simple clinical methodologies (vital signs, anthropometrics, etc.)
  • Introduction to metabolic testing procedures (resting metabolic rate, body composition, endothelial function, cognitive assessment, etc.)
  • Introduction to selected NIH-supported landmarked human trials in the fields of Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease
  1. Patient Care and Encounter Experience
  • Rotation through UTHSC –affiliated teaching hospitals for reality testing and direct observation of clinicians at work, clinical team interactions, clinic organization, patients flow, introduction to health care financing, and socioeconomic determinants of health.

Capacity: A target of 9-12 interns each summer; scalable based on funding status.

Evaluation and Post-Internship: Evaluative procedures include presentations by each intern, post-internship tracking of progress, and formal certification for successful completion.  Additional planned procedures include annual networking events attended by current and formal interns and faculty at which local high school and college students interested in the biomedical sciences will be invited.

In summary, I-CARE is a novel and unique initiative and opportunity for UTHSC to create a pipeline into the health professions for Memphis area youths.

Clinical Research Center Summer Intern Outline

The summer intern student will process through the day-to-day operations of a clinical research nurse gaining practical experience by completing a variety of research duties.

  1. Meet, greet and interact with research participants from entrance to clinic to completion of research visit
  2. Gain understanding of the participant’s research “protocol” guidelines and objectives.
  3. Process through every aspect of the participant’s visits, i.e.; vital signs, and anthropometric measurements. Proper use of Stadiometer and calculation of waist measurements.
  4. Will perform hands on experience of handling timed collected lab specimens and utilization of laboratory instruments.
  5. Will obtain knowledge of the various testing procedures that some participants may experience; such as the “Cardio-Coach RMR (resting metabolic rate), the Itmar Endo-Pat testing of endothelial function of the blood vessels and the DEXA scan testing bone mineral density.
  6. Intern will have the opportunity to sit as a participant on the test procedures thereby experiencing the testing first hand. 
  7. Intern will learn and know the importance of data collection and management.
  8. The intern will be familiar with the basic aspect of translational clinical research
  9. The intern will be required to present one oral presentation of their learning experience to CRC staff at end of internship.

Through the above plan and the taking of the CITI basic course training the intern will gain knowledge and understanding of clinical research involving human subjects, as well as gain practical experience in the research setting. 

May 26, 2022