Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

Rotating Fellow physician applicants must have completed (or be in the final year of) a residency / training program at an accredited, US-based institution in any of the following specialties: Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Med/Peds, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, or Anesthesia. RN and NP candidates should be certified in their specialty and may be required to have clinical experience for some positions.

Can I still apply if I am not a US citizen or permanent resident?

In some cases we may be able to sponsor J-1 visas for highly competitive fellows. If you will need a visa for the fellowship, we encourage you to apply as early as possible.

What is the difference between a Rotating Fellow and a Site Fellow?

Rotating Fellows are US-trained and licensed physicians and nurses who will rotate between both domestic and international partner sites each year of the fellowship. Site Fellows are already employed at partner sites and are nominated by the partner site. Collectively, both Rotating Fellows and Site Fellows are considered part of one fellowship class.

If I’m not a physician, can I still apply to be a HEAL fellow?

Yes. HEAL is excited to accept applications for Rotating Fellow positions from RNs, NPs, and physicians. Application and selection for Site Fellows will be led by our partners and is open to various health providers, from physicians, to nurses, to pharmacists, and beyond.

I am a physician and I have completed my COMLEX exams instead of the USMLE? Can I still apply?

Yes, the COMLEX equivalent of the USMLE qualifies.

Are there any requirements in terms of previous in-country experience, language, etc.?

For Rotating Fellows, previous language experience is taken into account when determining an appropriate match for certain partner sites, but it is not required for admission into the program. Specific international sites may have a language requirement.

Should I submit letters of recommendation as part of my application?

No. We will be contacting the three references submitted in your application and therefore will not be requiring separate letters of recommendation.  However, please do list only references that know you very well.

When is the application deadline? When should I expect to hear back by?

October 15th at 11:59pm PST.  Interview invitations will be sent out within two weeks of the application deadline.  Interviews will take place in November and December.

How long is the commitment for HEAL Initiative fellows?

The HEAL Initiative is a two-year, full-time commitment that begins in July 2016.

When is the HEAL Initiative month-long collaborative training?

The month-long training will be held at the start of the program, which will be July 2016 for fellows in the 2016-2018 cohort.  The training will take place in the Bay Area in California.

What are the current HEAL Initiative site placements?

Navajo Nation in New Mexico/Arizona, Berkeley, California, Haiti, India, Liberia, Mexico, Malawi, Mali, and Nepal. Other partner sites may also become available.

Can I choose which partner site to work in?

Once accepted, Rotating Fellows will work together with their UCSF faculty, HEAL Initiative leadership team, and our partner sites to determine the best site for each individual fellow. Sites will be determined based on the fellow’s skills and the needs of each partner site. Rotating Fellow applicants rank their site preferences on the application.

Are the rotations between sites on a strict timetable? For instance, can I work for a longer/shorter time at each site before rotating?

Currently, rotations are 6 months long, although coordination amongst paired fellows and their mentors may allow for alteration in specific circumstances.

I have a family at home. Is it still possible for me to do this fellowship?

Yes. We will work with fellows on an individual basis to come up with an arrangement that best suits their situation.

How are HEAL fellows compensated?

Compensation for Rotating  Fellows is based upon a Post Graduate Year 4 (PGY4) salary and is equal to all other UCSF medicine fellows. Nurse fellows will be compensated similarly. Site Fellow compensation is not affected by acceptance into the fellowship.

Will I receive health insurance?

Yes. All Rotating Fellows receive health insurance through the UCSF human resources department.

Do fellows have to pay for the MPH or advanced training opportunity?

No. The cost of the MPH or advanced training opportunity is covered by the HEAL Initiative for all participating fellows.

What if I already have my MPH? Are there alternative curricular offerings?

Fellows entering the program who already have their MPH will have the opportunity to pursue other non-degree programs. This will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

If I am accepted as a HEAL fellow, do I automatically gain acceptance to an MPH program?

No. HEAL will assist fellows with the application process, but decisions on acceptance are ultimately made by university offering the course. HEAL will assist fellows in seeking out alternative options if they don’t gain acceptances into any of the offered programs.

What other costs are included in the HEAL Initiative program?

For Rotating Fellows, travel costs to placement sites and health insurance will be covered by the HEAL Initiative. Site Fellows are already employees of the partner site and compensation remains the same, but the fellowship covers travel to the month-long intensive bootcamp in July.

What kind of clinical work will I be doing?

The clinical work varies greatly depending on the setting and needs of each site. Sites range from a rural clinic, where the focus will be on primary care, to an entirely hospital-based setting involving mostly inpatient services.

I have been working as a RN or NP and am interested in global health. Should I apply to be a HEAL Initiative Fellow?

Yes! Nurses make up the majority of healthcare providers working in resource-limited settings around the world and we welcome applications from nurses. Opportunities for RN and NP placements may vary each year according to partner site needs.

Who can I contact if I have any further questions?

Please email with any further questions.