Jamy Ard, MD

Professor, Departments of Epidemiology & Prevention and Internal Medicine; Vice Dean for Clinical Research; Co-director of the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Weight Management Center

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Wake Forest University School of Medicine

What has had the greatest impact on your career path in nutrition?  

The greatest impact on my career path in nutrition has been the mentorship and educational opportunities I received during my training at Duke University. Early on as a medical student, I became interested in nutrition—even though we didn’t get much in the way of education on nutrition in health. I also thought I might like clinical research but had no experience working on a research team. Working with the Rice Diet Program, learning clinical research fundamentals from faculty in General Medicine, and involvement with the Duke Hypertension Center’s research on the DASH diet were pivotal experiences that were all part of my training experience. Mentorship, especially from influential figures like Dr. Laura Svetkey, has been crucial. Mentors provide guidance, support, and opportunities for growth, shaping career paths, fostering confidence, and promoting innovation. This mentorship has been transformative in navigating and continues to be important in my academic journey.