Primary Care Fellowship

We offer a two-year postdoctoral fellowship program in General Internal Medicine. We believe that fostering the development of the future generation of leaders in General Internal Medicine is of the greatest importance to the national agenda to achieve excellence in primary care and generalist medicine. The goal of our fellowship program is to train future leaders in academic primary care. Building on existing degree programs at Columbia, our fellowship offers a choice of emphasis in the following areas: epidemiology, health services research, geriatrics, nutrition, or health education.

Our fellowship program is funded by the Health Resources Services Agency to provide primary care fellowship training jointly with the Division of General Pediatrics and the Center for Family Medicine. We offer training opportunities in all three disciplines. Our program is open to physicians in these primary care disciplines as well as to non-MD PhDs with training in primary care-relevant research disciplines. The primary care fellowship program at CUIMC is directed by Drs. Steven Shea (General Medicine), Melissa Stockwell (General Pediatrics), and Richard Younge (Family Medicine).

Application Deadline: October 15

Length of Program: 2 years

Program Start Date: July 1

Number of Positions Available: 2/year

  • Melissa Stockwell, MD, MPH

    • Fellowship Director, Pediatrics
  • Steven Shea, MD, MS

    • Fellowship Director, Internal Medicine
  • Richard Younge, MD, MPH

    • Fellowship Director, Family Medicine

Columbia University offers an exciting two-year fellowship program in general medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine focusing on urban community health. The Primary Care Clinician Research Fellowship in Community Health is a collaborative effort of the Divisions of Child and Adolescent Health and Medicine and the Center for Family and Community Medicine, the Mailman School of Public Health, and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. This fellowship provides a strong academic and clinical foundation for primary care physicians who will dedicate their careers to caring for poor minority children, adolescents, and adults, while also leading the campaign to reduce health disparities.

This fellowship focuses on health disparities and community health research and entails the following:

  • Advanced training in research skills including completion of research projects and a publishable manuscript(s) in urban community health
  • Pursuit of a Masters of Science in Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  • Core didactic curriculum in fellows' meetings consisting of research skills and academic development
  • Clinical practice and teaching of primary care in an urban underserved community in New York City


Each fellow is assigned to a research advisor and to a mentor within the Divisions of General Medicine and Child and Adolescent Health and the Center for Family and Community Medicine. Fellows have the opportunity to draw on the linkages between the three primary care programs.

Fellows will be expected to present their work at regional and national meetings and prepare at least one publishable manuscript. Examples of recent project topics conducted by fellows include the following:

  • Mental health
  • Cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary disease
  • Immunizations
  • Diabetes
  • Immigrant health
  • Stroke
  • Health services research
  • Obesity
  • Medical education
  • Medical home
  • Breastfeeding
  • Child abuse

Research training may focus on core disciplines, including health services research, health disparities, epidemiology, and community health. Fellows have the opportunity to draw on the linkages between the three primary care programs, Columbia University's NIH-funded CTSA, the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, and the Northern Manhattan Center of Excellence on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NOCEMHD), a National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) EXPORT center.

Mailman School of Public Health

The completion of a graduate research degree at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health is a centerpiece of our program. Mailman was one of the first schools of public health in the nation. It is committed to addressing health needs locally here in Washington Heights and Harlem, as well as globally through research, education, and service. Mailman also has outstanding research and degree programs in epidemiology, biostatistics, population family health, health administration, sociomedical sciences, and environmental health. The master's coursework provides a strong core curriculum in theory and quantitative and qualitative methods that are critical to a primary care research career. Our collaboration with Mailman allows our fellowship trainees to receive advanced training in public health and opportunities for shared research.

Clinical Practice

The Divisions of General Medicine and Child and Adolescent Health and the Center for Family and Community Medicine have a well-established network of primary care practices staffed by faculty and residents committed to community health. Each of these community health centers is located in an urban, underserved community. Fellows will join one of our practices where they will see patients independently and precept residents and medical students. Fellows will see patients for two clinical sessions a week. Starting mid-way through their first year fellows begin to co-precept residents as well. Fellows also have an option to spend two weeks co-attending on the inpatient wards.

The Health Resource Service Administration (HRSA) funds the fellowship. Federal guidelines restrict the fellowship to US citizens and permanent residents. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from underrepresented minorities. In addition to MD applicants, we also accept PhD applicants interested in primary care-related research.

Commitment to Diversity

Our program is strongly committed to diversity, reflecting the commitment to diversity at every level of the Division of General Medicine. Of all fellows (n=44) since HRSA support for the program began in 1993, 9 (20.5%) are under-represented minorities (AAMC definition), 11 (25%) Asian/South Asian, and 31 (70.5%) women. Among core general medicine clinical ambulatory faculty, 33% (10 of 30) are under-represented minorities, and 53% (16/30) are women.