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Rural Health Leadership Fellowship

The Massachusetts General Hospital Fellowship Program in Rural Health Leadership empowers early-career physicians to become leaders in partnering with challenged communities to improve health systems.


Rural Health Leadership Fellowship

The Massachusetts General Hospital Fellowship Program in Rural Health Leadership provides world class training to early-career physicians who seek to partner with rural communities to improve health.

The fellowship is part of an effort by Massachusetts General Hospital's Department of Medicine and Division of General Internal Medicine to partner with rural communities to meet their goals for health care and health systems improvement.

The Fellowship Program in Rural Health Leadership involves:

  • A Master’s Degree in Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health*
  • Focused clinical time in Rosebud, South Dakota at an Indian Health Service site
  • Three world-class curricula: A novel rural health curriculum, the Mass General Disparities Solution Center’s disparities leadership curriculum, and public health courses
  • Funding for elective away rotations and conference attendance
  • A longitudinal, mentored project tailored to fellow interests
  • Career support through extensive mentorship and program flexibility

*If fellows already have an MPH or equivalent degree, funding will instead be offered for research or other coursework


Through service, dedication and excellence, the program will:

  • Develop early-career physicians into leaders who will partner to transform health systems in resource-poor communities
  • Provide exemplary training in physician-led health systems transformation
  • Serve its partner communities with respect, dedication, and sustainability
  • Serve as a model for meaningful partnerships for health systems transformation

Key Program Staff

Fellowship Co-Director: Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE, Physician-in-Chief, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
Jackson Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Fellowship Co-Director: Matthew Tobey, MD, MPH, Division of General Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital


Rural Health Leadership Program Structure

Rural Health Leadership Timeline

Curriculum Structure

Primary Rural Clinical Site: 12-18 weeks per year in two-week blocks

Secondary Academic Clinical Site: One half-day per week when not at the rural site

The remainder of time will be divided between MPH coursework, the once-weekly curriculum, and flexible time for projects, education, or research depending on fellow interests.

Extensive opportunities for research, project implementation, education, further rural experience, and other opportunities are available depending on fellow career goals.

Program Partners

The program is sincerely grateful to all of its partners, who include:

The fellowship is based in the Mass General Division of General Internal Medicine within the Department of Medicine.

Clinical Experience

Primary Clinical Site

Badlands in Rosebud, South Dakota
Badlands in Rosebud, South Dakota

The Rural Health Leadership Fellowship is deeply grateful to our primary partner, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, whose values and goals guided the development of this fellowship program.

Todd County, the site of the Indian Health Service’s Rosebud Service Unit, is one of the counties with the lowest median income in the United States with unemployment hovering between 80 and 90%. Age-adjusted mortality rates are among the worst in the nation. Todd County's remote location compounds its challenges.

Fellows will serve clinically in Rosebud for approximately three months a year split into two-week rotations, sharing a primary care panel with a close-knit team of co-fellows and faculty. While in South Dakota, fellows will work primarily in primary care, performing eight to nine half-days a week. A small share of inpatient coverage, with an average census of zero to two patients, is typical. Program and Indian Health Service facility faculty are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for clinical support.

The clinical partnership in Rosebud offers fertile ground for participation in and development of community-centered programs. A sampling of active efforts include:

  • Engagement with students in local high schools and sports programs
  • Leadership of a new clinical program in the tribe’s jail
  • Development of a primary care-based hepatitis C treatment program
  • Development of groups visits and medication assisted treatment for community members with substance use disorders
  • Strengthening of the facility’s population health management and quality improvement efforts
  • Leadership of educational curricula for staff at the facility as well as for Rosebud’s robust community health worker program
  • Preceptorship and teaching of rotating students and residents from various disciplines

Join us, or support us, as we help communities transform their health.

How to Apply

The Rural Health Leadership Fellowship is excited to announce that we anticipate recruiting one fellow for the two-year fellowship beginning July 1, 2019.

The application cycle is:

-Applications open July 2, 2018

-Applications close September 28, 2018

The applications include:

  • The program application
  • Your CV
  • Three letters of recommendation, including a letter from a current program director or, if the applicant is no longer in training, a clinical letter from the direct clinical supervisor

All application materials including letters of recommendation should be emailed to the Rural Health Leadership Fellowship.

If you are interested in the program, please reach out at your earliest convenience to Associate Fellowship Director, Matthew Tobey, MD, MPH. Early contact allows for development of mentorship and projects in the year leading up to your fellowship, and the program offers a trip to the clinical site for all interested incoming fellows.

The fellowship lasts two years, from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021.


Contact Us

Rural Health Leadership Fellowship

Please direct questions and comments to the Associate Program Director, Matthew Tobey, MD, MPH. Please see the How To Apply tab for information about applying to the program.

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