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General Medicine Fellowship

The Harvard Medical School Faculty Development and Fellowship Program in General Internal Medicine offers 2-year academic fellowships to prepare talented physicians for careers in academic medicine. Since the program began in 1979, we have trained over 200 fellows, who now work in prestigious institutions nationally and internationally.

Program Goals:

  • To provide Fellows with a solid background in clinical research methods and statistical analysis through the completion of a Masters in Public Health degree at the Harvard School of Public Health.
  • To teach Fellows the essentials of performing research in general internal medicine through collaboration with faculty members. With the help of a mentor, Fellows will take one or more research ideas from conception to publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • To prepare Fellows to become confident teachers and public speakers . During our Program, each Fellow participates in conferences and retreats to enhance their teaching strategies and presentation skills. Fellows are expected to present their research at regional and national academic meetings.
  • To ensure that our graduates are prepared for successful careers as clinician-investigators . More than 90% of our graduates have received an academic appointment following their fellowships.

For more detailed information about our Program, please visit our website at http://www.hms.harvard.edu/hfdfp .

Participating Institutions:

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Boston V.A. Healthcare System
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Cambridge Hospital
  • Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Massachusetts General Hospital

The Research Program

The core goal of the Program is to foster high quality research and development of career themes. Each Fellow works in close collaboration with a faculty mentor to develop one or more research projects, either utilizing data resources generated from studies by individual mentors or other data sources, such as secondary databases. Numerous databases are available at each site including national health and Medicare databases. Research projects may employ any or all of the methodologic disciplines that are included in the academic curriculum and may focus on the clinical or content area of the Fellow's choosing.

Prior Fellows have chosen many different techniques and topics for their research. Some techniques include epidemiology, outcomes research, decision analysis, health services research, and practice variation, while topics include clinical epidemiology, health policy, technology assessment, access and equity in health care, health disparities, medical education, quality improvement, cost effectiveness, disease prevention, substance abuse, health promotion, medical ethics, and medical informatics.

Fellows present their plans and research-in-progress at conferences within the Program. They are encouraged and expected to present their findings at regional and national meetings of organizations such as the Society of General Internal Medicine and the Society for Medical Decision Making.

The Academic Curriculum

Fellows who are accepted into the Program are required to complete a formal application to the Harvard School of Public Health prior to beginning the Fellowship.

In addition to the fellowship stipend, the Program pays full tuition for the summer core curriculum, and for fellows in the Master's degree program, all the courses that are required (40 credits) for a Master's level degree at the Harvard School of Public Health. The deadline for application to the Harvard School of Public Health is mid-December prior to beginning the program in July. For more information about the Harvard School of Public Health, click here .

The program begins each July 1 with a seven-week summer core curriculum taught at the Harvard School of Public Health. The 15-credit core curriculum includes required courses in biostatistics (5 credits) and epidemiology (5 credits), and two elective courses. Electives have included health policy (2.5 credits), health services research (2.5 credits), decision sciences (2.5 credits), quality improvement (2.5 credits), and public health ethics (2.5 credits). The intensive summer experience includes about five hours per day of classroom time and about four hours of assignments. For more information about the Summer Program in Clinical Effectiveness, click here .

After completion of the summer core curriculum, Fellows usually continue to take advanced courses at the Harvard School of Public Health and, upon earning 40 academic credits, can obtain a Master of Science or Master of Public Health degree.

Fellowship Seminars

Fellows also attend weekly seminars or conferences addressing research in progress and study design to reinforce the skills learned in the classroom.

Clinical Program

Although the Program is primarily a research fellowship, each Fellow does provide care for general internal medicine patients, usually for one half day per week at a practice affiliated with their primary fellowship site. Fellows use this experience in the general internal medicine practices to increase their clinical skills and develop as teachers.

Eligibility and Application

Applicants must be board-eligible or board-certified in internal medicine by July 1 of their first fellowship year. In addition, due to federal regulations based on our funding, applicants are required to be U.S. citizens or have permanent U.S. residence status at the time of the application. Applicants are screened on the basis of their career goals and on the recommendations of faculty from their medical schools and residency programs.

Each applicant must complete an application form and have three letters of recommendation submitted by faculty who are familiar with the applicant's qualifications. One of these letters must be from the director of the current or most recent clinical training program.

The deadline for applications is March 15 of the calendar year prior to the year that the fellowship would begin. Personal interviews for those selected from the pool of applicants are held in April or May. Notification of acceptance generally occurs by mid-June of the year prior to the year the fellowship would begin.

During the interviews, candidates will have the opportunity to learn about program components at each of the participating fellowship sites. As part of the selection process, accepted applicants are matched to a participating fellowship site by mutual preference.

Fellows who are accepted into the Program are then required to complete a formal application to the Harvard School of Public Health by December 15, prior to their fellowship year. Please see our Curriculum page for more information.

Minority Applicants

The program is particularly interested in applications from individuals from underrepresented minority groups. Many research projects conducted by the faculty focus on the care of minority and other underserved populations. Harvard Medical School and each of the participating sites are equal opportunity employers. For more information about our minority alumni and resources at Harvard Medical School for minority applicants, click here .