Quality Improvement research is the study of clinical practices and their outcomes with the goal of improving the quality of care. Quality Improvement provides the information and process by which improvements occur in systems of medical care. With a broad background in medicine and pediatrics, Med-Peds is an excellent training upon which to pursue a 1-2 year Quality Improvement Fellowship. Most programs provide the opportunity to obtain your MPH through the Fellowship as well.

Among some other institutions, the Veteran’s Administration has several quality improvement fellowships through the VA Quality Scholars Program.

Veteran’s Administration Quality Scholars Program

To develop the next generation of leaders in the research, teaching and administration of health care quality improvement. An important goal of the program is to develop individual who will be able to advance the scientific basis of health care improvement.

Fellows will be able to:

  • Design and lead efforts for clinical and quality improvement.
  • Lead clinical programs such as academic hospitalist programs, outpatient clinics, or other areas.
  • Teach health professionals about health care improvement and quality.
  • Design and conduct research or improvement projects, and publish results in the peer-reviewed literature.
  • Develop new knowledge for the ongoing improvement of the quality and value of health care services.
  • Apply clinical, quality improvement, and health services and outcomes research methods.
  • Learn successful approaches for grant writing and funding.

The VAQS Fellowship Program was established in 1999. Mentoring is a critical component of the program. The two-year program links individualized training at each site to a state-of-the-art curriculum developed by The Dartmouth Institute. Each year, two positions are available at each site. Stipends and fringe benefits are provided by the VA.

Curriculum Components

  • Interactive video conferences (25/year)
  • Participate in National Meetings (3/year)
  • Fellow improvement projects
  • Clinical and education activities
  • Course work (MPH or equivalent degree tuition covered at some sites)
  • Participation in scientific meetings

Who Should Apply?
Residents, fellows, or faculty in any clinical discipline who want to learn how to do, lead, or study healthcare improvement.

Applicants must have completed ACGME-accredited residency or fellowship training, be board eligible or board certified, and have an active, unrestricted U.S. license to practice. International medical graduates must also fulfill visa and ECFMG requirements.

Coordinating center: Since 2015, the VA Quality Scholars Coordinating Center has been located at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas. The Coordinating Center is responsible for the development, administration and evaluation of the 2-year, national fellowship focused on quality improvement, patient safety, inter professional teamwork and collaboration, as well as leadership and professional development.

Contact Information:
Carlos Estrada, MD, MS Birmingham VAMC, Univ of Alabama at Birmingham
David Aron, MD, MS Cleveland VAMC, Case Western Reserve University
Gary Rosenthal, MD Iowa City VAMC, University of Iowa
Robert Dittus, MD, MPH, Nashville VAMC, Vanderbilt University
Seth Landefeld, MD San Francisco VAMC, Univ California San Francisco
Vince Watts, MD, MPH White River Junction VAMC, Dartmouth Medical School, Dartmouth Hub Site
Aanand Naik, MD Director, VA Quality Scholars

More information about the VA’s Quality Scholars Program.

Programs Offering Fellowship:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Houston, TX
  • Iowa City, IA
  • Nashville, TN
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Toronto; Canada
  • White River Junction, VT