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Advanced Fellowships and Professional Development

 
VA Advanced Fellowships Programs (Select program and then "Submit" for more information)

Clinicians. Image is ©. The healthcare needs of Veterans have changed dramatically in recent years as a result of the changing nature of health risks experienced by those who have served our country in recent conflicts. At the same time, profound changes are occurring broadly in the U.S. healthcare system due to forces such as legislation like the Affordable Care Act and rapid technological advances. VA and other healthcare systems in the US are redefining how care is provided to advance the 'triple aim' of improving patient experiences, population health, and healthcare costs. This has created needs and opportunities for health professionals and scientists to employ skills beyond those provided in most standard professional programs, skills to advance innovation in how healthcare is provided to maximize quality, safety, and value, and to press for advances in the clinical areas of most importance to Veterans health. The VA Advanced Fellowships Programs offer post-residency fellowships to physicians and dentists, advanced training for other health professions, and post-doctoral opportunities for scientists in areas of particular importance to VA and the Nation. The VA Advanced Fellowship programs provide unique preparation for future leaders in healthcare by providing hands-on mentored educational experiences to develop skills in specific clinical areas and more broadly for healthcare system and healthcare education system transformation through policy, system redesign, and, research. Through creative partnerships, use of new technology, and innovative educational modalities, the VA Advanced Fellowships Program promotes and fosters the highest standards of leadership, intellectual integrity, research, and patient care.

 

Background

In 1978, the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) began the VA Special Fellowships Program, which was renamed in 2007 to VA Advanced Fellowships Program,  to accomplish the following purposes:

  • Develop physician and dentist clinical proficiency, academic scholarship and leadership in emerging areas of health care important to VA
  • Contribute to a talented, well trained recruitment pool for VA
  • Foster an atmosphere of scientific inquiry and excellence within VA.

The Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and Fellowship Program in Geriatrics were the first fellowships started in 1978. Over the years new fellowships were added to meet emerging healthcare needs important to VA. Highly skilled in treatment and research, the pool of physicians and dentists participating in the program has made significant contributions to health care in VA and the nation. Notable examples include nationally recognized programs and research in geriatrics, substance abuse treatment, and spinal cord injury medicine. VA support of fellowship programs in these and other areas has changed physician and dentist training in America.

Program Operations

Physician and dentist Fellowship Program Directors manage the fellowship programs at VA facilities. Working closely with their affiliates, Program Directors plan didactic experiences, clinical rotations, and research training for the fellows. Most fellowship sites are selected through a competitive request for applications administered by OAA. Fellowship participants serve as trainees on a temporary, full-time employment basis at one of the fellowship sites for the duration of the appointment period. VA provides two or three years of stipend/salary support for each fellow. Most stipends/salaries are based on the post-graduate (PG) level the fellow attained through previous Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) residency training. The stipend is related as closely as possible to local affiliate fellowship stipend levels.

Applicant Requirements

To apply to VA's Advanced Fellowships Program, interested applicants can explore the Advanced Fellowships menu, identify programs of interest and carefully review the program announcement for specific information about program eligibility. Interested candidates are encouraged to send a cover letter and curriculum vitae to the local fellowship site. Applications are processed at the local level, and OAA provides final approval. Physician applicants must have completed US residency training and be a board certified or board eligible physician with an active, unrestricted license to practice medicine in the U.S. Some programs allow physicians who are not US Citizens with appropriate visa/residency status to participate if no qualified US Citizen has applied. Professionals from fields other Medicine must be US Citizens.

Summary

The VA Advanced Fellowship Programs have been extremely important to VA's clinical, educational, and research missions and the nation's workforce and health-care needs.

Contact:

Stuart Gilman, MD, MPH
Director, Advanced Fellowships and Professional Development
(562) 826-5323

Jeff Cully, PhD
Assistant Director, Advanced Fellowships and Professional Development
(713) 794-8526

Deborah Ludke, MHA
Administrative Officer, Advanced Fellowships and Professional Development
(562) 826-5492

Kimberly Uhl, MBA
Management Analyst, Advanced Fellowships and Professional Development
(562) 826-5996

OAA Help Desk

Fellowship Program Director Resources

Nomination and Appointment of Postdoctoral and Postresidency Fellows in VA Advanced Fellowships for Academic Year (AY) 2013-2014

Instructions for Requesting a Third Year of Support in VA Advanced Fellowships for Academic Year (AY) 2013-2014

Nomination, Submission, and Application Instructions for VA Advanced Fellowships in Mental Illness Research and Education (Advanced Psychiatry and Psychology) (AY) 2013-2014

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