Primary Care Research in Community Health

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:

  1. Advanced training in research skills including completion of research projects and a publishable manuscript(s) in urban community health;
  2. Pursuit of a Masters of Science in Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health;
  3. Core didactic curriculum in fellows' meetings consisting of research skills and academic development;
  4. 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 and both the Columbia University NIH-funded CTSA 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 in Washington Heights and Harlem as well as globally, through its 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.

Fellows Meetings

Fellows take part in bi-weekly fellows' meetings, where they can present their research at various stages of development and learn skills related to statistical software, research ethics, manuscript preparation, grant writing and job planning.

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 U.S. 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.


Positions are available for July 2019. Interviews are granted on a rolling basis; the deadline for submission is October 15, 2018.

Interested candidates can download an application below or it can be obtained from the

  • Division of General Medicine (212) 305-9379
  • Child and Adolescent Health (212) 305-6227
  • Center for Family and Community Medicine (212) 304-5214.

Download application.
Download a list of current and past fellows.

The completed application includes the following:

  • A standard application form with demographic information
  • A personal statement, of no more than 500 words, with background, interests, and career goals of the applicant
  • A copy of your c.v., with emphasis in research experiences
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty members (a letter from the chairman of the Department of Medicine/Pediatrics/Family Medicine, as per field, or residency program director is recommended)

Applications should be submitted by email as follows:

Pediatric candidates:
Melissa Stockwell MD, MPH
Division of Child and Adolescent Health, Columbia University
622 West 168th Street, VC417, New York, NY 10032
Tel (212) 305-6227
Fax (212) 305-8819

Internal Medicine candidates:
Steven Shea MD, MS
Division of General Medicine, Columbia University
630 West 168th Street, PH 15, New York, NY 10032
Tel (212) 305-9379
Fax (212) 305-9349

Family Medicine candidates:
Richard Younge, MD, MPH
Center for Family and Community Medicine, Columbia University
630 West 168th Street PO Box 100, New York NY 10032
Tel (212) 304-7244
Fax (212) 544-1938