National Clinician Scholars Program

Formerly the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP) is a two-year, site-based training program that aims to provide support and training for a multidisciplinary cohort of medical professionals interested in rigorous research design, improving the understanding of health systems and social determinants of health and emphasizing the outcomes and impact of research. This program is a fully funded two-year opportunity which includes tuition for a masters in health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Fellows are encouraged to work across disciplines and medical professions to develop a protocol project which incorporates the various health services research methodologies they are taught during these two years. With outstanding mentorship teams and access to diverse resources, fellows graduate the program ready to pursue careers in academic medicine, administration or health policy.

Christopher Childers’s visual abstract for Childers et al, Understanding Costs of Care in the Operating Room

Click image for larger size
Resident research spotlight: Christopher Childers’s visual abstract for Childers et al, Understanding Costs of Care in the Operating Room, JAMA Surg, Feb 2018.

American College of Surgeons (ACS) Scholars Program

ACS offers two-year resident research fellowships, through the generosity of Fellows, Chapters, and friends of the College, to surgeons entering academic careers in surgery or a surgical specialty. The fellowship is to assist a surgeon in the establishment of their research program under mentorship with the goal of transitioning to becoming an independent investigator. Applicants should have demonstrated their potential to work as independent investigators.


Several residents have obtained advanced graduate degrees in health policy and epidemiology. Projects have examined a wide breadth of interests including liver transplant referral patterns, shared surgical decision making, and examination of operative costs and reimbursement. Residents have previously presented before committees at the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, with significant policy impacts driven by health services and policy research.

Proximity to the RAND Corporation. RAND is a leading American nonprofit global health policy think tank with a premiere graduate program ( and is located in Santa Monica, just two miles from the UCLA Westwood Campus. RAND has been a unique opportunity that has positively impacted professional development of several residents in recent years.

Examples of health services and health policy research by UCLA surgical faculty: