Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program Selects Final Cohort of Elite Physician Leaders

    • July 10, 2014

Chapel Hill, N.C.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program is pleased to announce the selection of 31 of the country’s most promising physician leaders, who will develop the skills to lead the transformation of America’s health and health care. The largest cohort in more than five years, this group of scholars begins its two-year fellowships in July 2015.

“For more than 40 years, the Clinical Scholars program has built a legacy of inspiring physicians to challenge the status quo and become leaders of change in the clinic, the community, and beyond,” said Desmond K. Runyan, MD, DrPH, national program director and an alumnus of the Clinical Scholars program. “We look forward to welcoming to our program this new group of talented physicians, who will be change agents for the health care field.”

The new Clinical Scholars are physicians who were selected competitively from medical and surgical residencies across the United States. The 2015 cohort includes physicians specializing in primary care, emergency care, pediatrics, surgery, and psychiatry.

The Foundation will fully fund 10 of the 31 scholars. Through a partnership of more than 30 years, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will jointly support 13 scholars through VA Medical Centers affiliated with the participating universities: Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Of the remaining eight positions, the universities will provide institutional funding for six of the 31 scholars (one of these positions is university/VA funded). For the first time, two scholars—psychiatrists who will be Clinical Scholars at the UCLA training site—will receive funding support from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

“The Clinical Scholars program has always attracted some of the nation’s best and brightest young physicians who go on to become leaders in government, academia, the private sector, and a variety of health care settings,” said David M. Krol, MD, MPH, FAAP, senior program officer at RWJF and a Clinical Scholars alumnus. “The Foundation is proud to host one of the most prestigious fellowships available to physicians, which prepares them to contribute to building a Culture of Health and to enable people across the nation to lead healthier lives.”

Through the program, scholars will spend two years examining the delivery, impact, and organization of health care. In addition to training in leadership, health policy, and health services research methods, Clinical Scholars are trained in community-based participatory research (CBPR). By engaging community members in the research process, the CBPR model creates a two-way exchange that aims to improve health behaviors while bringing resources and greater visibility to the health issues within a particular community.

Click here to see a full list of the 2015 Clinical Scholars. For more information about the Clinical Scholars program, visit

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937