Our core curriculum includes extensive training in Health Policy and Delivery.

Our courses bring in health care leaders from nursing and medicine both locally and nationally. Leaders discuss their current work, vision, and mission as well as the path they have taken in their career.


*Curriculum subject to change


National Clinician Scholars at UCLA receive intensive training in the methods of creating health and health care change at community, practice and policy levels. The curriculum is based on a social, behavioral and community conceptual framework that combines didactic and experiential teaching methods, and inter-professional education. Scholars build on their own talents, as well as those of their mentors and diverse community partners, to become agents for improving health and health care.

Scholars spend their first year in intensive, community-based learning and project development, followed in subsequent years by advanced project completion and elective work. Scholars also learn health services research methods, including theory, study design and data analysis; fundamentals in health policy; biostatistics; scientific writing; implementation science; and the application of these skills to conduct original research and to change health policy. Additionally, guest speakers from major corporations, foundations, health care organizations, among many others, will provide Scholars with real world case examples of leadership in action and decision-making. Career coaching will also be provided. The Pathways to Leadership Seminar series also provides Scholars an opportunity to hear about the career path and the leadership training of local and national leaders. Integration of physician and nurse researchers in training to advance the field of healthcare from different perspectives will shape the future of health and healthcare in ways that we have not seen before. In the past, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Dr. Robert Ross, Dr. Gerald Levey, Dr. Mitchell Katz, among others, have visited our scholars in this seminar consisting of mostly storytelling and Q&A.

Scholars participate in clinical practice at the UCLA Medical Center, Harbor UCLA Medical Center, the VA Hospitals at Sepulveda and West Los Angeles, or their affiliated community programs. Scholars may also collaborate with nationally recognized staff at RAND who work in areas ranging from health policy and national security to civil justice, public safety, education, child policy and science and technology. UCLA seeks applicants who are interested in coupling rigorous evaluation and research with efforts to enact community and policy change. Scholars may be paired with community partners for projects and/or clinical work to tackle real-world problems in real time to impact change and health improvement. Advanced elective experiences are available in supervised policy placements in Washington, D.C., and in the use of media to improve community health, building on the diverse media resources in Los Angeles.

At UCLA, partnerships include the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, UCLA School of Nursing, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Public Health, and Mental Health, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Cedar Sinai Health System, Charles R. Drew University, Healthy African American Families, Venice Family Clinic, Behavioral Health Services, MLK Community Hospital, Los Angeles Unified School District, among others (check out ourĀ Projects and Partners).


In tandem with their project experiences, Scholars gain leadership skills through a curriculum tailored to hone the skills of clinician-researchers and have the opportunity to learn from a wide array of national leaders in health care and health care research. The formal curriculum draws on models and methods from elite leadership training in the worlds of health care, business, and public administration, through which Scholars learn concepts of leadership and teamwork and have the opportunity to apply them in the context of community-partnered efforts, government, and complex health and research organizations. Guest speakers from major corporations, government, foundations, health care organizations, among many others, provide Scholars with real world case examples of leadership in action and decision-making and the skills necessary to lead within organizations. Career coaching will also be provided. The curriculum provides Scholars an opportunity to hear about the career path and the leadership training and experiences of local and national leaders from different clinical disciplines. For many of the Scholars their projects will be embedded in real world organizations where they will be mentored by the leaders of those organizations. We believe that this “on the job” leadership training is an important and unique asset for this program.

The new program will have enhanced communication and sharing of curricular approaches across sites to insure that our Scholars have access to the most innovative research and leadership training.

Interdisciplinary Education

Scholars join us from a wide variety of clinical specialties to offer a rich learning environment of different perspectives. Nurse and physician Scholars training together offers an opportunity to create team-based approaches to address communities’ most pressing health and health care needs. While inter-professional training is increasingly given lip-service in clinical settings, this program offers a unique opportunity for the Scholars to learn and innovate together, and with community partners, in the research context with deep and sustained intellectual engagement across professional boundaries.

Scholars participate in a robust, inter-professional clinician-tailored core curriculum to acquire and hone a diverse set of skills in organizational change, social change, applied translation research methodology including implementation science, community engagement, program development and evaluation, team management, communication, and policy analysis. Through the directed coursework and experiential leaning, Scholars will learn to think creatively and strategically to redesign healthcare systems and lead transformative initiatives. The curriculum also emphasizes principles and state-of-the-art methods of social and behavioral science as applied to health services research, intervention design, measurement of quality of care, functional status, assessment of community engagement, survey design, research methods for qualitative and quantitative data, biostatistics, scientific writing, and stakeholder analysis. Scholars will have an option to matriculate a master’s degree.