The mission of the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP) at Yale is to prepare future clinician leaders to improve health and health care in the United States. To accomplish this goal, the NCSP will identify, nurture, and strengthen a cadre of diverse physicians and nurses, whose scholarship will positively influence communities and the health care system. Now, perhaps more than ever, the nation needs clinician leaders who are capable of developing solutions to the problems that continue to undermine health and health care. Despite enormous technological advances in medicine and health care delivery, the nation’s health care system continues to be plagued by many problems including barriers to access, a disproportionate burden of illness imposed on vulnerable populations, misaligned incentives, fragmentation of health care services, and persistent concerns about the safety, effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and patient-centeredness of care.

Through course work, mentored clinical and community-engaged research, exposure to senior level leaders, and patient care, Scholars develop the experience and skills to lead positive change at the local, state, and national levels. The program balances classroom experience with ample time for research project development and individual mentoring. The two-year inter-professional fellowship program begins in July and concludes in June.

NCSP/VA Collaboration

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) and the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP) have partnered to offer training for clinicians to become change agents and health system leaders through a collaborative enrichment program offered competitively to nursing and physician fellows. The enrichment will involve a standardized curriculum, health system and research projects, career mentoring, policy work, and clinical and patient care activities, all in the context of interprofessional engagement. The program emphasizes the importance of community health, consistent with VA's goals to optimize the health of the veteran, the VA community, and to contribute to the health of the Nation. VA NCSP Clinician Scholars participate in activities at their designated VA Medical Center as well as participate fully in the overall NCSP program at the affiliated institution. Experienced mentors of national stature provide guidance to fellows in rich learning environments.The collaboration between OAA and NCSP will enrich the awardees' experience by providing the opportunity for VA-funded Scholars to:

  1. Practice clinically at local VA medical centers and clinics
  2. Engage local and national VA faculty and administration officials in support of program objectives
  3. Receive advice regarding VA priorities and career opportunities within the VA


Core to the program, Scholars work closely with community partners. Scholars addressing real-world, highly relevant problems in real time is the central mechanism of the Program training experience. Mentorship is provided for Scholars by Program faculty, community partners, and subject matter experts. Recent Scholar projects include "End of Life Care in the Veteran's Health Administration vs. Fee for Service Medicare among Patients with Advanced Lung Cancer" by Dr. Carolyn Presley, and "Musculoskeletal Disease - Rheumatoid Arthritis Study" by Dr. John McDougall. There is also work in progress by Shelli Feder, PhD "Use of Palliative Care Among Patients with Heart Failure within the Veterans Aging Cohort Study."


The collaboration between the NCSP and the Department of Veterans Affairs was designed to introduce new skills and training in the non-biological sciences and in health care research to young physicians committed to clinical medicine. Graduates are expected to be role models in leading and developing solutions to meet the most pressing health issues of the day. The VA/National Clinician Scholars Program has become one of the premier fellowships for physicians interested in influencing health policy. The partnership between the VA and the NCSP allows the next generation of physicians, nursing leaders, and change agents to understand and improve the health of veterans, and of the nation.

Local Partnerships

At Yale University, partnerships include the Yale School of Medicine, Yale School of Nursing, Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH), YNHH-Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE), the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, Columbus House, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS), Project Access New Haven, New Haven Family Alliance, and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System which offers a rich array of clinical services

The Program's array of strong partnerships with communities, local and state government, and health systems continues to thrive and support the work of our Scholars. These partnerships have been essential to the rigorous and relevant training of Scholars and continue as central keys to programmatic success in the future.



The educational experience for Scholars includes principles and practices of research and the knowledge and skills necessary to translate research into practice, policy, and improved...



Scholars learn an approach to research that is fostered by the program’s collaborative culture, which encourages skepticism, creativity, critical thinking, and early stakeholder engagement...

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Learn about eligibility requirements and how you can apply to the National Clinician Scholars Program.