Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Nutrition

The departments of Nutrition Sciences and Medicine offer a two-year Fellowship in Clinical Nutrition for physicians who have completed medical training and are board-eligible or board-certified in internal medicine or family medicine.

Department of Nutrition Sciences clinical faculty members include physicians trained in internal medicine and clinical nutrition and registered dietitians. The faculty also includes many basic scientists.

The UAB Hospital and VA Medical Center Nutrition Support Services consist of the physicians on our staff, a registered dietitian, one or two medical residents, and at times a fourth-year medical student. The team performs consultations throughout the University Medical Center. The Nutrition Clinic, an integral part of The Kirklin Clinic at UAB, is staffed by Nutrition Sciences physicians and dietitians who see patients on referral from other physicians and self-referred patients. We treat a wide variety of nutrition-related inpatient medical problems including short bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal problems requiring enteral and parenteral nutritional support, critical illness, hepatic and renal failure, hematologic disorders, and cancer. We also operate the UAB Home Parenteral Nutrition Service, for which the Fellows have primary responsibility.

Additional clinical nutrition services include the comprehensive UAB EatRight Weight Management Program and the UAB Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Clinic. Fellows rotate through the various nutrition clinics throughout their fellowship.

Fellows usually take several courses, mainly during their first year, to provide a more solid background in nutrition and in research than most M.D.s have. Among these are Nutritional Biochemistry, Nutrition and Cancer, and Nutritional Epidemiology. Other teaching occurs through clinics,  bedside activities of the Nutrition Support Service, and weekly departmental conferences and special seminars.

In addition to clinical and didactic experiences, Fellows become involved in a research project, to be actively pursued during the second year. The details of the research project are worked out during the first year with assistance from the medical center-wide course, Vocabulary of Clinical Research, a curriculum that provides training in the methods of clinical research. A variety of projects in the Department of Nutrition Sciences support research on clinical community, biochemical, physiological, and animal levels.

We were also involved in leading the Intersociety Professional Nutrition Education Consortium, which aimed to achieve national consensus on the identity, training, and certification of Physician Nutrition Specialists. IPNEC founded a new board entitled the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists (ABPNS), which offered its first Certification Examination for Physician Nutrition Specialists on November 17, 2001. Our fellowship is designed to meet the requirements for clinical nutrition training outlined by ABPNS. All fellows take the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists certification examination developed by ABPNS.