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Faculty Development Fellowship

Program Overview

Our Family Medicine Faculty Development Fellowship has over 20 years of experience in successfully training family medicine fellows for careers that serve underserved populations. Many of our fellowship graduates have become leaders in family systems teaching and academic family medicine. In September, 2011, we were awarded a HRSA training grant in collaboration with the Division of Academic General Pediatrics at URMC.

Within the fellowship, fellows may design special study and research tracks in health services research, medical education, or marriage and family therapy.

The fellowship is built on a planned curriculum of educational and evaluation activities in the domains of research, education, and leadership/career development. We have special strengths in the teaching of scientific writing and grantsmanship. We also provide rich experiences in career planning and management, leadership, teaching and curriculum development, skills essential for academic success.

Career Preparation

The goal of the program is to produce fellows with expertise in teaching and practicing within the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), have skills in designing and evaluating curriculum and clinical programming to improve care of chronic illness within the context of family medicine. Fellows who graduate are prepared to assume academic careers in which they may:

  • Teach future primary care physicians to work in PCMH practices, using data to improve clinical practice and patient outcomes.
  • Participate in clinical care, program innovation, policy development, and advocacy that addresses the needs of medically vulnerable families.
  • Conduct research and program evaluation directed to primary medical care issues.

Curriculum Highlights

Fellows are actively involved in the development and refinement of the fellowship curriculum. Every year they review the program's learning objectives and conduct a formal self-assessment of their own learning interests and needs. These data guide our annual selection of seminar topics. Core elements of the curriculum are as follows:


  • MPH or other Masters degree, such as MEd or Certificate Program in Medical Family Therapy: Coursework is specially designed for clinicians and clinically related research and educational needs
  • Mentored projects in primary data collection and secondary data analysis
  • Publications and presentations


  • Weekly Seminar Series
  • Scientific Communications Curriculum
  • Leadership and Career Development Training

Experiential Learning

  • Clinical experiences in medical center and community
  • National meeting presentations
  • Experiences in Family Medicine, Cultural Competence, and Health Literacy

Program Details

Training Environment

The Department of Family Medicine and the URMC are ideally suited to provide a home for this fellowship program. Our long history of general and primary care training, our extensive local and national expertise, and the breadth of our faculty ensure that each fellow will receive rigorous training. Our fellowship is supported by a training grant jointly with general pediatrics and family medicine, as well as clinical revenues from the Department of Family Medicine. 

Fellows often pursue a Masters in Health Professional Education Warner Programs or a Masters in Clinical Investigation 

We also have collaboration with the Center for Community Health and Prevention.  

Primary Faculty

  • Holly Russell, M.D., MS., Director of Family Medicine Faculty Development Fellowship, Center for Community Health and Prevention Medical Director, Family Medicine Substance Use Program Director. 
  • Steven Barnett, M.D., Associate Director of Center for Deaf Health Research, studies health care access in the deaf community.
  • Colleen Fogarty, M.D., MSc, FAAFP, William Rocktaschel Professor and Chair Department of Family Medicine University of Rochester.
  • Ron Epstein, M.D., Director of Center for Communication and Disparities Research, is a world renowned expert in health care communication and medical education.
  • Kevin Fiscella, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Director of Center for Communication and Disparities Research; Co-Director for Community Engagement for the UR CTSI, his research focuses on health disparities in primary care.
  • Mechelle Sanders, PhD Senior Instructor, Research faculty for the Department of Family Medicine. She is a scholar in the Health Disparities Research Institute and her research focuses on the use of peer-led interventions to address health equity.  
  • Susan McDaniel, PhD, a family psychologist, is the Dr Laurie Sands Distinguished Professor of Families & Health in the Departments of Family Medicine and Psychiatry. She has published extensively about families in family medicine and collaboration between behavioral health and biomedical clinicians.

Mentoring Pool

Fellows have access to a broad and deep pool of potential mentors in the Departments of Pediatrics, Family Medicine, and Public Health Sciences.

Core Facilities

The fellows’ offices are located in the new addition to Highland Family Medicine Center. Fellows practice at the Highland Family Medicine Center, and engage in teaching, research, and educational scholarship with FM faculty.

  • Our Department has partnered with the Division of Academic General Pediatrics to develop a combined fellowship program emphasizing new skills in leadership, Patient-Centered Medical Home, and practice re-design to train the primary care faculty of the future.
  • Fellows design and complete a scholarly project in their area of interest; projects can include in educational design/evaluation or research.
  • The University of Rochester Clinical & Translational Science Institute (UR CTSI) is one of 60 institutions nationwide with funding from the National Institutes of Health to lead the emerging field of clinical and translational research. The Institute provides research resources to faculty and fellows; two members of the Department of Family Medicine serve leadership positions within the UR CTSI.

Clinical Experiences

Fellows function as primary attending physicians for their outpatient panel. Fellows may opt to continue inpatient care as the teaching attending on the Family Medicine inpatient team, with mentoring from a current faculty member. Qualified fellows may include full-spectrum maternity care in their training. The total amount of clinical time for fellows averages 40%.