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Dr. Nader Rifai is a Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Clinical Chemistry at Children's Hospital Boston.
This is a podcast from Clinical Chemistry. I am Bob Barrett.
Clinical Chemistry will be launching a new initiative called the Clinical Chemistry Trainee Council, which will provide educational materials to trainees in clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine. This program combines the journal’s commitment to education with its mission to disseminate information to laboratory scientists around the world. An editorial about this program was published in the July issue of the journal written by the Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Chemistry, Dr. Nader Rifai.
Here to discuss this initiative is Dr. Rifai, who is also a Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Clinical Chemistry at Children's Hospital Boston. So Dr. Rifai, please describe this initiative for us?
Of course Bob, with pleasure. In this initiative, which we will be launching in May of 2011, we will be targeting over 5,000 doctoral level trainees in clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine in 24 countries.
We will be sending them CDs containing 35 clinical case studies, which is what we have published in the journal in the past three years and the entire Clinical Chemistry Guide to Scientific Writing in the form of two electronic books, and these will be sent as a gift from the journal.
These CDs will be distributed to the trainees by local national societies of key individuals in these countries. We are encouraging the trainees to register with us to become members of the Council upon the receipt of the CD, at no cost to them, so that we will continue to send them free educational materials.
We have also developed an exclusive website for the Council members so they can access future clinical case studies, they can read our Q&A pieces, and listen to our podcasts. As you know Bob, the journal produced over 70 podcasts in the past two years that have been downloaded over 225,000 times.
In addition to that, through this website the Council members will be able to learn from the monthly webcasts which are lectures by leading international scientists, and in fact, we have already lined up numbers of these lectures given by leading scientists from the U.S., Canada, UK, and Hong Kong. And they will also be able to listen to the biweekly pearls of laboratory medicine, which are 10-15 minutes presentations about laboratory tests.
In addition, they will be able to communicate with each other via Council Chat, which is a chatroom that is directed by six junior faculty members from the U.S., Belgium, Greece, China, and Indonesia.
This seems like an unusual undertaking for a journal. What's the rationale for such a program?
Yes, I agree. This is an unusual undertaking for a journal, but you have to remember Bob that trainees are really the future of our profession, and we truly believe that journal is important in reaching out to them early on in their career, providing them with useful information and developing a relationship with them.
Our hope is that the trainees will see and appreciate the value of this program, get used to reading the journal, and continue to do so throughout their professional life. Furthermore, we sincerely hope that in the future they will contribute intellectually to the journal.
Okay. So what's the next step in this initiative?
So what I have described so far to you is actually what we call phase one of this project. In summer of 2011, this program will be expanded, let's call it phase two, to include India. So we will be able to make all these educational materials available to the approximately 2,000 doctoral level trainees in clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine in that country.
In late 2011, phase three in Spanish will be launched, targeting Spain and Latin America, with the exception of course of Brazil. Early 2012, phase four in Russian, and late 2012, phase five in Chinese will also be launched.
In the near future we hope to produce an Arabic and Portuguese version of the Council, and of course we will only be able to accomplish that by working with colleagues and professional societies of these countries.
Dr. Nader Rifai is a Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Clinical Chemistry at Children's Hospital Boston. He has been our guest in this podcast from Clinical Chemistry. I am Bob Barrett. Thanks for listening.