MERITS Two-Year Fellowship

The University of Chicago MERITS Program was founded in 2010 to support and promote research, innovation, teaching, and scholarship in medical education with the goal of advancing patient care and the health of the public by improving the education of physicians. MERITS builds upon the unique, interdisciplinary resources of the University of Chicago, a leader in medical education innovation.

The MERITS Two-Year Fellowship in Medical Education will provide postgraduate fellows with the conceptual and practical skills required for successful future careers as medical education scholars and leaders. Fellows will participate in a curriculum drawn from the fields of education, sociology, biostatistics, and ethics to develop innovative teaching methods, and undertake successful program implementation and evaluation. The goal of the Fellowship in Medical Education is to develop educational leaders and scholars through participation in a focused curriculum, research in medical education workshops, mentored projects,and active engagement with a rich network of colleagues and faculty in an environment of collaborative learning and support. The Two-Year MERITS Fellowship Program is directed by Vineet Arora, MD, MAPP.

The Two-Year Fellowship is a full-time funded fellowship for advanced training in medical education scholarship and is salary and benefits commensurate with PGY level.

Certificate of Completion or Master’s Degree in Public Policy or Health Studies possible.


  • Candidates for the two-year, full-time fellowship must be board-eligible or at the PGY-level commensurate with a two-year research experience in their existing graduate medical education program.
  • Candidates do not need to have an affiliation with the University of Chicago.

Program Overview:

The MERITS Fellowship in Medical Education is a two-year program consisting of dedicated coursework developed and taught by leading faculty at the University of Chicago (see sidebar).

  1. SPORT: Fellows participate in the Summer Program in Outcomes Research Training (SPORT).
  2. MERITS Seminars: Fellows participate in two or three monthly MERITS Seminars (Wednesday mornings, 10:00 am-12:00 pm).
    • Scholarship & Current Issues Facing Medical Education (Fall Quarter)
      Course Director: Vineet Arora, MD, MAPP
    • Curriculum and Evaluation (Winter Quarter)
      Course Directors: Jeanne Farnan, MD, MHPE and Nancy Schindler, MD, MHPE
    • Theory and Practice of Medical Education (Spring Quarter)
      Course Directors: H. Barrett Fromme, MD, MHPE and Sandra Valaitis, MD
    • History and Leadership of Medical Education (Spring Special Lectures)
      Course Directors: Mindy Schwartz, MD
  3. RIME Conferences: Fellows participate in the Research in Medical Education (RIME) conferences, held the first Thursday of each month between October and June from 12:15-1:00pm in the Billings Hospital, conference room L-316.
  4. AAMC Annual Meeting: Fellows participate in the AAMC Annual Meeting, held in November.
    • MERITS will cover the cost for registration fees as well as travel to the AAMC Annual Meeting and other conferences approved by the program director.
  5. Independent Scholarship: Two-Year Fellows are expected to complete an independent work of scholarship related to advancing medical education, as well as participate in teaching and administrative activities at the Pritzker School of Medicine or in the University of Chicago Medicine’s Graduate Medical Education Programs.
    • Develop, plan, and/or carry out an individual medical education scholarly projects within the context of curriculum development, curriculum evaluation, and other topics.
    • Two-Year fellows will have the opportunity to work on a couple or multiple projects and complete these from start to finish. The projects will be developed based on fellows' interests and may cross disciplines.
    • During the second year of the fellowship, fellows have the opportunity to develop their projects more in depth, and present these in various venues.
  6. Additional Coursework: During the second year, fellows have the opportunity to participate in additional coursework through the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, the General Internal Medicine Fellowship program, the Department of Health Studies, and the Harris School of Public Policy among others.
  7. Pursuit of Graduate Degree: Fellows may have an opportunity to obtain a Master’s Degree in either Public Policy or Health Studies depending on their interests.
  8. Professional Guidance: Fellows also receive formal guidance on how to seek and obtain a full-time academic faculty position following completion of the program.

Application Details

Admissions for commencement in July 2018 is currently closed. Applications for commencement in July 2019 will begin in January 2019.

The MERITS (two-year) Fellowship application consists of the following:

  • Application form (doc)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letters of recommendation (3)
  • Personal statement (see details on the MERITS application)

For additional inquiries please contact Elizabeth Rodriguez.