• Robert L. Phillips Jr. Health Policy Fellowship

    The Fellowship

    The Robert L. Phillips, Jr. Health Policy Fellowship is a one-year, full-time, in-person fellowship program with combined experiences in scholarly research, medical education, and clinical practice. Located in Washington, DC, fellows have a unique opportunity to interact with local and federal policymakers as an integrated part of the program. Fellows have the opportunity to collaborate and contribute to the institutions in the DC community.


    The year begins with exposure to primary health care policy data, research methodology, and data analytics. Fellows are involved in research from conception through dissemination. Elements of research portfolio are tailored to the fellows interests and skill set. The fellow is introduced to various local and national organizations that explore health policy research, implementation, and community leaders that apply primary care research. Fellows may work with several partners, including the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, and the Health Resources Services Administration. Some fellows may explore working with congressional staff or members of professional organizations on one pagers and health legislation.

    Fellowship Goals

    • Primary Goal: Prepare the fellow for advanced research techniques used in health services research.
    • Develop skills and knowledge needed to advance a primary care leadership career.
    • Enable the fellow to continue work in academics or private practice through tailored educational opportunities during the year.
    • Collaborate with leaders in primary care across the US and build a professional network.

    Fellowship Activities and Features

    The fellow will participate in:

    Health Services and Policy Research (50% FTE): Conduct primary care research at the Robert Graham Center on projects that innovate and transform primary care delivery. Fellows will develop, conduct, and disseminate original health policy research and contribute to team-based research initiatives. Collaborate with a federal partner on primary care research initiatives.

    Direct Patient Care (20% FTE): Provide care at one of Unity Health Care’s Community Health Centers with a dedicated patient panel.

    Residency Education (10% FTE): Precept resident physicians at Fort Lincoln Family Medicine Center (outpatient) one half-day per week, provide residency didactics on occasion, and act as inpatient attending for family medicine residency service 6 weeks per year with call (no obstetrics required).

    Medical Student Education (20% FTE): Teach M1 students at Georgetown University in three courses: Evidence Based Medicine; Patients, Populations, and Policy; and Community Based Learning. May teach acting internship students in clinical setting. Conduct case-based seminars with M3 students during their family medicine rotations. Oversee medical students working at the residency.

    Leadership Development: Attend personalized leadership development seminars with the Robert Graham Center, Georgetown University, and the American Board of Family Medicine. Topics may include teaching philosophy, evidence-based medicine, grant writing, publishing, data analysis, and advancement in academic medicine.

    Conferences: Attend the annual North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) meeting and Society of Teachers in Family Medicine (STFM) conference for education and networking.

    Fellowship Partners

    Georgetown University Medical Center Department of Family Medicine
    The Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University has responsibilities in undergraduate medical education (UME) and graduate medical education (GME) in family medicine. In UME, the department provides education in family medicine, biostatistics, epidemiology, geriatrics, bioethics, population health, and community medicine. In GME, the Department hosts the Georgetown Family Medicine Residency, a 4/4/4 program. Residents train at Fort Lincoln Health Center and Southern Maryland Hospital.

    Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care
    The Robert Graham Center (RGC) is a health services research hub promoting family medicine and primary care. It is an editorially independent part of the American Academy of Family Physicians and is dedicated to improving the health of individuals and populations through enhanced primary care. The research formed at the RGC informs health policy and the practice of primary care. The center conducts robust secondary data analysis research, mixed methods research, and collaborates with partners from other primary care institutes to support primary care across the US.

    Unity Health Care, Inc
    Founded as Health Care for the Homeless in 1985, Unity has grown to be a consortium of community health centers and special programs designed to meet the needs of the underserved communities of Washington, DC. Along with comprehensive primary care, Unity offers substance abuse, HIV, and mental health services. Unity hosts medical students and health professionals through the Area Health Education Center Program.

    Stipend and Benefits

    The annual stipend for the fellowship is consistent with PGY-4 pay; approximately $73,000 per year at 100% FTE. Other benefits include:

    • 15 days of paid vacation
    • Support for conference travel and 10 days of travel
    • Health and malpractice insurance
    • Professional Organization Membership
    • Licensure and DEA reimbursement


    • Board Certified or Board Eligible in Family Medicine, Pediatrics, or Internal Medicine
    • Strong interest in health policy and health services research
    • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
    • National Health Service Corps Scholarship recipients are eligible.

    Notable Alumni

    Winston Liaw, MD, MPH (2013)
    Chair, Dept Health Systems and Population Health
    University of Houston, TX

    Tracey Henry, MD, MPH, MS (2015)
    Associate Professor, Dept of Medicine
    Emory University School of Medicine, GA

    Tyler Barreto, MD (2017)
    Full spectrum Family Physician
    Family Health Associates, Bellingham, WA

    Rob Ballieu, MD, MPH (2018)
    Senior Clinical and Practice Advisor
    SAMHSA, Bethesda, MD

    Brian Antono, MD, MPH (2020)
    Core Faculty Member
    Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, NC


    Please submit the following elements:

    1. Personal statement describing your interest and goals for the fellowship (500 word maximum)
    2. Current Curriculum Vitae
    3. Two letters of support, including one from your residency Program Director or Department Chair

    Applications are considered on a rolling basis. All application materials should be submitted by the applicant or letter writer to Ms. Tunstall, via email, as below.

    Contact Information

    Alison Huffstetler, MD
    Medical Director
    Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in 
    Family Medicine and Primary Care
    1133 Connecticut Ave NW
    Washington, DC 20036
    P: 202-655-4942

    To submit applications
    Vanessa Tunstall, MPH
    Department of Family Medicine
    Georgetown University