Nursing Students Join Duke’s Inaugural National Clinician Scholars Cohort


Two nursing students and three physicians recently joined the inaugural cohort for Duke’s National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP). Dominique Bulgin, PhD student at Duke University School of Nursing and Sallie Allgood, PhD student at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing; are among the participants in this cohort representing the first group of interdisciplinary medical researchers selected for the newly established Duke NCSP site.

In the spring of 2018, Duke became the fifth location of the National Clinician Scholars Program, a consortium of prestigious academic health care research institutions that provides training for doctors and post-doctoral nurses to become change agents for driving policy-relevant research and partnerships to improve health and health care.

“I am very pleased that Dominique and Sallie were selected in the inaugural cohort for this very prestigious program,” said Marion E. Broome, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean, vice chancellor for Nursing Affairs, Duke University and associate vice president for Academic Nursing, Duke University Health System. “The Duke NCSP was established to support and develop this level of nursing research excellence within an interdisciplinary environment. We are so proud of both Dominque and Sallie.”

A partnership between the Durham VA Health Care System and the Duke University schools of medicine and nursing, the Duke NCSP joined the consortium that includes UCLA, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan. The Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute serves as the administrative home for the program at Duke.

The Duke NCSP focuses on community-based research, health services research, health policy, and implementation science across a broad range of disciplines. Scholars will build expertise in these disciplines because of the critical role they play in both improving health care access, equity, quality and outcomes, and identifying and implementing effective health care policies.

Nationally, the goal of the NCSP is to cultivate health equity, eliminate health disparities, invent new models of care, and achieve higher quality health care at lower cost by training nurse and physician researchers who work as leaders and collaborators embedded in communities, healthcare systems, government, foundations, and think tanks in the United States and around the world.

The five scholars selected for this year’s cohort and their research interests are:

  • Dominique Bulgin, PhD, RN – Bulgin plans to investigate the influence of stigma on sickle cell disease self-management and identify interventions to improve the health and quality of life of individuals with sickle cell disease.
  • Sallie Allgood, PhD, RN – Alllgood’s research interests include examining how the integration of community health workers into primary care systems affects patients’ health outcomes and primary care utilization, as well as population-level health disparities and chronic disease risks. Her research will be conducted as part of the Durham VA Health Care System’s Nursing department.
  • Marcelo Cerullo, MD, MPH – Cerullo is interested in investigating lung cancer screening guidelines and surgical referrals, imaging in oncologic decision-making, insurance market expansion and consolidation. His research will be conducted as part of the Durham VA Health Care System’s Surgery department.
  • Rushina Cholera, MD, PhD – Cholera’s research interests include improving health outcomes and access to care for children in Spanish-speaking immigrant families through identifying and mitigating psychosocial barriers to healthcare engagement.
  •  Zoë Julian, MD, MPH – Julian’s research interests focus on how incorporating community voice and justice-informed frameworks in health professions training and curriculum evaluation can mitigate health disparities and promote equity in obstetric and gynecologic care. Her research will be conducted as part of the Durham VA Health Care System’s Gynecology department.


For more information, please visit the Duke NCSP or the national NCSP at



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