The University of Colorado Primary Care Research Fellowship (PCRF) is designed to train outstanding primary care researchers to improve the provision of primary care health services. This joint program of University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health is designed for physicians in primary care specialties, such as internal medicine, pediatrics and family medicine, interested in research training.
Key Components of the Primary Care Research Fellowship
This two or three year fellowship requires 80% protected time for research and education and allows for 20% clinical time.
1. Master of Public Health
Concurrent with the program, fellows obtain a MPH degree at the Colorado School of Public Health. The Colorado School of Public Health has a strong focus on rural health, American Indian/Alaska Native health and chronic disease prevention. All enrollees in the PCRF are expected to enter the MPH Program, unless they already possess that degree or its equivalent. The MPH offers many opportunities for a well-rounded public health education as well as specialization in concentration areas such as biostatistics, community & behavioral health, environmental & occupational health, epidemiology, health systems, management & policy, maternal/child health, global health and health services research. Forty-two hours of required and elective course work is necessary along with completion of a capstone project and a practicum.
2. Individual Research
At the beginning of the fellowship, fellows will work with their mentors to identify a research topic and projects. Completion of at least one independent project requiring study design, data collection, and statistical analysis will be required; many fellows have been able to complete more than one project during the program.
Well-established research mentorships are available with active researchers in generalist disciplines and other departments or divisions in the School of Medicine and School of Public Health. Areas of active research include: delivery of childhood and adult immunizations, chronic physical and mental health problems in children and adults, injury epidemiology, drug abuse, obesity prevention and treatment, management of acute problems in primary care, and health disparities. Fellows are encouraged either to join established researchers in ongoing research projects or to pursue areas of unique interest with the assistance of their mentor(s). Fellows present their ongoing work at a weekly fellowship research conference.
The fellowship includes mini-courses on a range of topics such as how to prepare an IRB application, how to write an excellent abstract, secondary data analysis, community-based participatory research, qualitative methods, and how to prepare a job talk, among other topics. Fellows also participate in an intensive grant-writing course in the second year of fellowship.
4. Clinical Practice
Our fellows conduct their clinical activities at the Colorado Children’s Hospital, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver Health Medical Center, the Denver Veterans Affairs Hospital and Presbyterian St. Luke's.
5. Strong Mentorship
The program is led by a multidisciplinary team of established researchers in the divisions of General Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Family Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health. Each fellow is assigned a primary fellowship mentor and encouraged to identify a mentorship team from the research faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health.
6. Our Fellows
We seek to create a dynamic peer learning environment in our works-in-progress sessions and other activities.