Health Policy Fellowships in Emergency Medicine

Danielle Andrews, MSIV – Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
EMRA MSC Great Plains Regional Representative, 2021-2022

The field of health policy is defined as the laws, regulations, actions, and decisions implemented within society to promote wellness and improve specific health goals. The rules and regulations created by organizational parties affect how care is administered and accessed by the community within their jurisdiction. Emergency medicine physicians are valuable to serve as change agents within the healthcare system and advocate for policy reform on behalf of their patients and emergency medicine providers. Many students and residents who are passionate about public health and enacting legislative change for health care reform may consider a health policy fellowship to bridge their interest with clinical medicine.

As health policy is a broad field within public health, fellowships within emergency medicine can also take various forms. Programs typically focus primarily on advocacy, translational research, or experimental training. Those with a more experimental emphasis have more robust opportunities for practicum placements and have fellows rotate through several public policy experiences locally or nationally.

Health policy fellowships are typically two years long, and many include getting a graduate degree such as an MPH or MHA. Some programs have a condensed version for one year for those starting with a graduate degree.

If you are considering this direction in your career but want more exposure to decide if it’s right for you, here are some great opportunities to check out:

EMRA/ACEP Medical Student Health Policy Elective
A 4-week elective for 4th-year medical students to work with representatives from ACEP’s Washington, DC staff, and with their State Chapter office

EMRA/ACEP Congressional Health Policy Fellowship
A 1-month full-time experience for residents or fellows to work in the Congressional Office on Capitol Hill to gain firsthand experience in legislative and policy process

EMRA and ACEP Health Policy Academy
A year-long academy open to medical students, residents, and fellows that gives them the experience to write resolutions and be trained in parliamentary procedure to run the EMRA meetings at ACEP and CORD, and attend the Leadership Advocacy Conference (LAC)

Be sure to check out the EMRA Health Policy Committee and the EMRA Fellowship Guide to get more detailed information about health policy fellowships!

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