Cleveland Clinic’s Nutrition Fellowship Program welcomes your interest in our program. This unique program is under the direction of the Center for Human Nutrition within the Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute and is one of only a dozen advanced training programs in nutrition in the U.S. The goal of the program is to develop physician nutrition specialists who will incorporate their education and training into their future practice, regardless of the area of specialty. Many graduates of our program progress to other advanced training programs, primarily in gastroenterology and endocrinology.
Fellows train with the Cleveland Clinic’s Nutrition Support Team (NST) which includes the Inpatient NST service, Home Nutrition Support Service (HNSS), and Center for Gut Rehabilitation and Transplant (CGRT). The NST is one of the largest and longest-tenured multidisciplinary teams in the world, having been in continuous service since its inception in 1975. The HNSS is one of the largest institution-based programs managing patients on home parenteral nutrition (HPN) and home intravenous fluids (HIVF) in the US. CGRT offers both medical and surgical management of patients with intestinal failure ranging from diet and medications to bowel-lengthening procedures and multi-visceral organ transplants. Trainees will learn to care for these patients, both in the hospital and at home.
Physicians who have completed either a medical or surgical training program are eligible to apply for the Clinical Nutrition Fellowship. The Fellowship accepts two candidates each year. The program consists of six months of active training when trainees are taught the essentials of nutrition support, and six months of practical experience, where trainees continue to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to manage patients with a variety of nutritional disorders. During the second six months, trainees become Clinical Associates and function as team leaders on the inpatient NST service while continuing to gain experience with HNSS and CGRT. Fellows will also have the opportunity to tailor the program by choosing elective experiences based on their individual interests and goals. These opportunities include gastroenterology, hepatology, bariatric medicine/surgery, eating disorders, critical illness, wellness, and endocrinology.
I believe the Clinical Nutrition Fellowship Program offers a unique experience at one of the leading medical centers in the world and welcome your interest.
Donald F. Kirby, MD
Program Director, Clinical Nutrition Fellowship
Director, Center for Human Nutrition, Department of Gastroenterology
Medical Director, Intestinal Transplant
Professor of Medicine
Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute
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The Cleveland Clinic Clinical Nutrition Fellowship is designed for physicians who wish to specialize in nutrition-centered medical care. The unique focus of this program, along with the diverse patient population of Cleveland Clinic, make this an exceptional opportunity for advanced training.
Clinical Nutrition Fellows acquire expertise in a variety of nutrition-related areas including enteral and parenteral nutrition, critical illness, intestinal failure, home parenteral nutrition, and nutrition support access device management. Fellows also have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of nutrition-related programs such as wellness, bariatric surgery, gastroenterology, and endocrinology on an elective basis. Fellows will gain sufficient training and experience to be eligible to sit for the Certified Nutrition Support Certification examination sponsored by the National Board of Nutrition Support Certification.
The lack of nutrition education in medical schools and residencies has resulted in a scarcity of physicians with nutrition expertise. With advanced training in nutrition being offered at only a handful of institutions in the US, this is unlikely to change in the future. In this setting, graduates of the Cleveland Clinic Clinical Nutrition Fellowship program possess unique knowledge and skills which can be incorporated into their future practice, regardless of area of specialty. A background in nutrition also improves their prospects of being accepted by other advanced training programs.
Fellows are expected to achieve a series of competency-based performance outcomes (i.e. milestones) during their rotations with NST, HNSS, and CGRT. Fellows will be assigned preceptors who will be their primary trainer and will sign off each milestone as it is achieved.
Fellows expand their nutrition expertise by participating in the following areas:
- Rounding daily on inpatients with the physician-directed, multidisciplinary NST.
- Caring for individuals with intestinal failure in the inpatient and outpatient settings being treated with a combination of diet, medications, tube feedings, specialized IVF, and parenteral nutrition.
- Understanding how to select, manage, and troubleshoot short- and long-term enteral and parenteral access devices.
- Participating in a variety of nutrition-related outpatient clinics including wellness, bariatric medicine, preventative cardiology, gastroenterology, and eating disorders.
- Contributing to the department’s educational conferences and research activities.
Research and Professional Development
Fellows are expected to be actively involved in research and quality improvement projects to enhance their skills as clinical investigators and advance the field of nutrition. They are provided dedicated time for research, as well as technical and educational support from the Center for Human Nutrition.
Center for Human Nutrition Continuing Education Conference
Fellows are expected to participate in the weekly Center for Human Nutrition Continuing Education Conference. The conference consists of variety of educational activities including live lectures, webinars, and journal club and case study presentations with a focus on nutrition support.
Fellows are encouraged to attend Medical/Surgical Grand Rounds or other educational activities to improve their medical and nutritional knowledge.
What are you looking for in an applicant?
We are looking for outstanding individuals to immerse in a high volume environment that offers high quality, scientifically advanced care in an economically savvy environment. We seek the most promising physicians with demonstrated leadership abilities, academic productiveness, medical knowledge, and positive personal qualities among applicants from diverse backgrounds.
What is the application process?
The following documents are required to complete the application. Due to program funding, applicants must be a US citizen, permanent resident, or have a H1B visa
- Completed GME Application for Fellowship
- Supporting documentation (USMLE Scores, ECFMG)
- Cover letter
- Curriculum Vitae
- 3 letters of reference
The completed documents should be emailed to Mary Rath (firstname.lastname@example.org). You will receive an email confirmation when your application is complete. We review every application completely and then offer virtual interviews to a select group.
The deadline for applying to the class of 2023-2024 is December 7, 2022. Virtual interviews will take place on December 13, 2022.
What are your fellows' employment benefits?
Residents/fellows are Cleveland Clinic employees with standardized salaries and other benefits.
Clinical Nutrition Fellowship Program Director
Donald F. Kirby, MD
Clinical Nutrition Fellowship Program Coordinator
Mary Rath MEd, RD, LD, CNSC
Visiting Residents and Fellows Rotations
International Physician Services / Visa
Janice M. Bianco
Manager, International Physician Services
Responsible Officer, Exchange Visitor Program