Explore This Fellowship

Rural Health Leadership Fellowships

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

The fellowships represent 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.


Through service, dedication and excellence, the fellowships will:

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

Rural Health Leadership offers one ongoing fellowship programs: a fellowship for physicians in partnership with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Indian Health Service, begun in 2016. It is also developing a fellowship for physician assistants and nurse practitioners, which is accepting inquiries from interested applicants.

MD/DO Fellowship

Primary Care Physician Fellowship

Program structure

The Primary Care Physician Fellowship is a full time fellowship that offers early-career physicians in clinical experiences on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Key components of the fellowship include:
  • 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, a home-grown 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

Clinical experience

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 highest 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 nine half-days a week. A small share of inpatient coverage is typical. Fellowship and Indian Health Service facility supervision 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 includes:

  • Engagement with students in local high schools
  • 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

Applications open July 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020 for the two-year fellowship period that begins on July 1, 2021.

 We manage application materials electronically. Please make sure that all materials, including letters of recommendation, are emailed to the program at ruralmedicine@mgh.harvard.edu. We will confirm receipt. Please direct questions about the fellowship to Fellowship Director Matthew Tobey at matthew.tobey@mgh.harvard.edu.

The application requires:

  • A completed application form (PDF)
  • A CV
  • Three letters of recommendation, electronic or scanned, two of which are from current or past clinical supervisors