MD Fellowship - Denver - Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation (COIN)
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Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation (COIN)

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MD Fellowship - Denver

The Denver/Seattle Center of Innovation (COIN) for Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven Care located in Denver, Colorado has been awarded an Advanced Fellowship Program in Health Services Research (HSR). The mission of the Denver/Seattle COIN is to conduct high quality health services research that promotes Veteran-centered and value-driven care, generate and disseminate knowledge that contributes to the well-being of Veterans, work collaboratively with Veterans Affairs (VA) policy and operational leaders to implement research findings into clinical care, and train the next generation of health services researchers and leaders. The COIN goals are to advance: 1) Veteran-centered care and 2) the science of value-driven care. The Advanced Fellowship Program goal is to train and mentor the next generation of VA Health Services Research & Development scientists and physician scientists. HSR evaluates the organization, delivery, and reimbursement of health care. Studies focus on efficacy, outcomes, access to care, patient satisfaction, and cost efficiency of diagnostic, preventive, interventional, and therapeutic approaches. HSR also includes identifying predictors of disease and determining the effectiveness of preventive interventions.

Funding is provided by VA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) and is guaranteed for two years as long as satisfactory progress is being made by the fellow. Typically, the Fellowship is completed in two years. OAA started the VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Health Services Research in 1991 when a broad array of concerns was challenging health care delivery in VA and across the nation. These concerns ranged from issues involving approaches for incorporating patient perspectives in decision making to quality, cost, and measurement issues. Few physicians had the training in Health Services Research needed to address these critical issues, and the need for such trained physicians was increasingly dramatically. In response, OAA started the training program to develop a cadre of physicians with health services expertise for the VA health care system and to foster the development of high quality health services research and development at local and national levels.

Fellowship Curriculum Overview
The two-year Fellowship is designed to have physicians develop and apply their research skills by completing a publishable research project. Emphasis is placed on one-on-one mentorship and peer interaction. The curriculum fundamentals include orientation to VA, general research methodology, and written and oral communication skills. The shared emphasis of education, research, and mentorship allows fellows to hone their skills in biostatistics, clinical epidemiology, clinical trial design, medical decision making, health care organizations and delivery, financing of health care, ethical issues related to research, health policy, medical informatics, meta-analytic techniques, qualitative research methods, survey design, grant preparation, and project administration. Additional training in content areas such as quality improvement methods, patient safety investigations and other areas of significant interest to VA is available. Fellows are given the opportunity to pursue intensive training in their particular areas of interest through didactic course work, work-in-progress, and seminars. Graduate Education - Physician fellows are required to earn a MS/MPH degree (unless degree previously earned) from the University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus.
 

Fellowship Requirements
Physician fellows will spend 75 percent of their time in research, healthcare improvement, and/or education activities. Fellows are expected to develop and carry out a research project, submit at least one manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal, present at a national meeting, participate in grant writing, learn and use the latest technology in teaching, and participate in and lead inter-professional project teams. Additionally, 25 percent of the fellow’s time will be devoted to clinical care at the Eastern Colorado Health Care System (ECHCS).

Eligibility Requirements

  • Completion of a residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or the Bureau of Professional Education (BPE) of the American Osteopathic Association 
  • Not be enrolled in any accredited physician residency or Fellowship Program 
  • Have an active, unrestricted license to practice in the United States
  • Be appropriately board certified or eligible 
  • Be a U.S. citizen

Additional Selection Criteria
Candidates who meet the eligibility requirements will be selected based on their:

  • Interest – desire to shepherd health services research in rapidly changing health care settings and demonstrates special interest in the focus of research at the Denver COIN
  • Potential –likelihood to succeed in a career incorporating health services research for Veterans
  • Match-with available mentors at Denver COIN/University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus

Funding
Funding is provided by VA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) and is guaranteed for two years as long as satisfactory progress is being made by the fellow. Typically, the Fellowship is completed in two years.  OAA started the VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Health Services Research in 1991 when a broad array of concerns was challenging health care delivery in VA and across the nation. These concerns ranged from issues involving approaches for incorporating patient perspectives in decision making to quality, cost, and measurement issues. Few physicians had the training in Health Services Research needed to address these critical issues, and the need for such trained physicians was increasingly dramatically. In response, OAA started the training program to develop a cadre of physicians with health services expertise for the VA health care system and to foster the development of high quality health services research and development at local and national levels.

Stipend
The stipend rate is based on the post-graduate (PG) level the Fellow attained through previous ACGME accredited residency training and equivalent experiences.  The stipend is related as closely as possible to local affiliate Fellowship stipend levels.  Fellows shall not receive additional revenue from any source in compensation for their duties in this program. 

Benefits & Other Support
Fellows receive health insurance and vacation benefits. Other support available during Fellowship includes office space with a secure work station equipped with statistical, word processing, and database management software and statisticians offer in-house consultation and guidance on analysis.

Formal Application Steps
To apply, please assemble the following documents and submit by the 1st of February

  • View the contents of the MD Fellowship Brochure  
  • A completed MD Fellowship Application Form  
  • Current curriculum vitae (CV)
  • A three-page description of your research proposal. This should include: Introduction, Research Question/Hypothesis, Background, Statement of Significance, Research Design, Methods, and Analytical Plan. In addition, describe how this HSR Fellowship Program aligns with your professional career goals.
  • Three letters of recommendation

Please submit the first 3 documents by email to the Fellowship Coordinator, Erica Valdez, at: Erica.Valdez@va.gov     

Letters of recommendation can be sent directly by mail or fax to:
Erica Valdez, Fellowship Coordinator
1700 N Wheeling
Building A (151)
Aurora, CO 80045
phone:  720-857-5086
fax:  720-857-5992 

Q
uestions about the application or the process should be addressed to Erica Valdez.

Deadline
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; however, all application materials must be received by the 15th of Februaryto be considered for the following academic year, starting July 1, in order to allow sufficient time for interview and hiring processes.  Note: Applications to the master’s degree programs within University of Colorado-Anschutz medical campus has a separate applications processes and deadlines. The deadline for MS is February 1 and MPH December 31.

Interviewing
The interview process is individualized and often depends on the distance of the candidate to Denver and the preferences of the Program Director. Select candidates are invited for interviews after all application materials have been received and reviewed. Interviews generally take place in January. The Fellowship Coordinator works with the candidate and the selected interviewers to design an interview schedule. VA funding does not allow for the reimbursement of interview-related travel expenses. The Program Directors will typically make admission decisions in January.

Hiring
Once an offer is accepted and a target start date is negotiated, the Fellowship Coordinator will provide instructions on the hiring process and procedures. Note that in order to be allowed to hold clinic, candidates must first be credentialed and privileged by VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System.

After the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System Credentialing and Privileging Office (C&PO) approves the candidate, the Fellowship appointment paperwork is submitted to OAA. OAA must approve and issue the Fellowship appointment on the national level before the Human Resources (HR) office in Denver at VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System can proceed to hire.

The VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System HR office requires fellows to have a physical exam completed at the Denver Division prior to hiring. Upon successful completion of the physical, HR will generate a local offer letter and schedule orientation. All fellows must attend the 2-day New Employee Orientation hosted by HR. This orientation is designed to orient new employees with VA policies and procedures and to complete critical paperwork (health insurance, direct deposit, etc).