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What’s Special About the Hopkins GIM Fellowship?

There are many excellent fellowship programs for general internists planning careers in academics, research, and public health. We’d like to take this opportunity to tell you what’s special about Hopkins GIM and its GIM Fellowship. We hope it will help you choose the best program for you.


Robust Research Enterprise
Hopkins GIM has a robust research enterprise which has tripled over past eight years to $36M (annual direct costs)--and that doesn’t include grants led by GIM faculty members that go through the School of Public Health, the Berman Bioethics Institute, or the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine. That’s more grant funding than in many entire schools of medicine. This enterprise gives our Fellows an unusually broad range of fields, methods, and mentors to choose from. Take a look at the variety of research centers affiliated with GIM—you’ll see breadth and depth there, too. And unlike most GIM divisions, we win a lot of funding from NIH—that gives our brand of GIM research a strong clinical and biomedical flavor, ranging from clinical trials of treatment and prevention down to molecular and genetic epidemiology with immediate clinical ramifications. In fact, our range is so broad that we don’t insist our Fellows choose a mentor and project during the application process as do some peer institutions. We prefer to recruit the best talent available and let them survey the Hopkins research landscape for six to nine months while taking first-year coursework.

Strong Commitment to Mentorship
We take mentorship very seriously at Hopkins. In the GIM Division, it’s one of our core values. We match Fellowship candidates with potential mentors during the interview visit. We lecture to new Fellows on choosing and using mentors. And we monitor first-year Fellows to make sure they’ve connected with mentors who are personally committed to their success. Typically, Fellows identify one senior mentor who takes overall responsibility for their research training and career trajectory and other mentors who provide content expertise, offer methodological insights, give career and job advice, or provide wisdom about work and life. As mentors, we’re proud of the many mentorship awards our faculty members have won from the Department of Medicine, the School of Public Health, and the University. But we’re more proud of our track record of producing successful academic internists who share our values and stay connected with us throughout their professional lives.

Shared Sense of Community Among Fellows

The Hopkins fellowship program is small enough offer individualized mentorship and attention but also large enough (around 12 fellows) to encourage a sense of community.  Through daily interactions, weekly conferences, and special events (e.g. picnics, karaoke), fellows get a chance to know and learn from one another.  First year fellows are paired with senior fellows to encourage cross-year dialog.  Fellows learn from others who remember what it was like to first start a research project or go on the job market.  The result is a community invested in each other’s success.

Long Track Record and Large Alumni Network
Hopkins GIM has a 30-year track record of producing leaders in academic GIM with continuous training grant support from NIH and other federal sources. Our 148 alumni hold posts across the US, including at Harvard, BU, Yale, UPMC, Mayo Clinic, UCSF, UCSD, UAB, Wake Forest, Duke, UT Southwestern, Case Western, U of Chicago, Columbia, NYU, NIH, AHRQ, and CMS. Two of our alumni are Deans and three are GIM Division Chiefs. This Hopkins alumni network is invaluable for our Fellows when it comes time for job search. We keep the network alive with periodic emails and news postings, and with the annual Hopkins GIM Dinner at SGIM—with over 80 attendees annually, it’s by far the biggest alumni gathering in GIM nationwide. You can see photos of recent dinners in the GIM Scrapbook.


Unified GIM Faculty with a Shared Mission
With over 80 full-time faculty members, Hopkins GIM represents an alliance of general internists dedicated to research, teaching, primary and preventive care, and hospital medicine, all connected to a single hospital on a single campus. That’s an alliance that’s stronger than at many peer institutions, where researchers are separate from clinician-educators, where hospitalists have formed separate divisions, where the fellowship program sits apart from the GIM division, or where different hospitals on different campuses compete for talent, resources, and recognition. Although the primary focus of our Fellowship is research training, we value clinical and educational excellence and we’re proud of alumni who lead clinics and housestaff training programs.


Close Ties with the Bloomberg School of Public Health
Hopkins GIM is closely tied to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health—the nation’s oldest, biggest, and (we like to think) best school of public health. Many of our faculty members hold active joint appointments in Epidemiology or in Health Policy & Management; others in International Health; Health, Behavior & Society; Mental Health; or Population, Family, & Reproductive Health. And over 25 faculty members in the School of Public Health have active joint appointments in GIM. GIM has similarly close ties to the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing which excels in patient-centered research. All three schools—medicine, public health, and nursing--sit side-by-side in East Baltimore. That means that our Fellows not only enjoy the benefits of superior formal coursework and degree programs in population science and public health, but also enjoy an expanded network of mentors with methodologic expertise in multiple disciplines. This contrasts with many peer institutions, where the academic medical center is the only game in town or where other schools are physically or organizationally remote.


Ties to Clinics, Insurance Plans, and Industry Partners
We also have close ties to other key programs inside Johns Hopkins Medicine: (1) Johns Hopkins Community Physicians--the largest primary care network in Maryland, staffed by over 100 part-time GIM faculty; (2) Johns Hopkins Healthcare, LLC-- a major regional health insurer with 3 growing insurance plans and a 6-member Analytics Core nestled within the GIM Division; (3) the Johns Hopkins Community Health Partnership (nicknamed JCHiP)-- Hopkins’ signature reform initiative, designed under GIM leadership and funded by a $20M challenge grant from CMS (the largest such grant to a single academic medical center); and (4) the Johns Hopkins Office of Business Development and Strategic Alliances—a group that helps faculty find industry partners ready to invest in research and development for population health. Few peer divisions enjoy these kinds of ties: some have primary care networks contained in separate departments, only a few have integrated insurance plans, and none have GIM faculty at the helm of both healthcare reform and industry partnerships.

Federal Funding for 3 Years of Training plus Tuition
All of our Fellowship training slots are fully funded for three years, including tuition funding for formal coursework or degree programs at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. That means our Fellows can focus on research without the hassle or uncertainty associated with having to write individual grant applications to fund a third year or to find tuition support. And most of our alumni will tell you that the third year was crucial in launching their research careers: that’s when they wrote their first K award application and pushed out papers from work started in years 1 and 2.

Strong Divisional Commitment to the ‘Jewel in the Crown’
Hopkins GIM treats the Fellowship as the jewel in its crown. That’s consistent with prevailing Hopkins culture which places a high premium on recruiting and mentoring young talent. We offer three noon conferences weekly and we provide lunch at each one. We cover health insurance for individuals and families. We facilitate on-campus moonlighting and institutional consulting gigs. We maintain a Methods Core that gives Fellows access to methodologically astute PhD faculty from the GIM Division and to graduate research assistants from the School of Public Health. We create a three-member advisory committee for every Fellow. We fund substantial effort for our Fellowship Director and two Co-Directors, all of whom help set GIM policy and strategy on our Executive Board. The Division Chief is actively engaged in Fellow selection, training and career development. Most important, we treat each new Fellow as a potential Hopkins faculty recruit. In fact, 23 Fellowship alumni are on our full-time faculty at Johns Hopkins Hospital and another 20 are on our part-time faculty or on faculty at Hopkins-Bayview.


We’ve told you a lot, but we’d be happy to tell you more when you visit us for a Fellowship interview. In the meantime, please poke around our website—and not only the Fellowship pages. Take a look at the Research pages, the News, the Message from the Director, and the Photo Scrapbook, too. Our site is thorough, accurate, and up to date, and it will give you a sense of who we are, where we’re going, and why you should join us

Nisa Maruthur, MD, MHS

Assistant Professor of Medicine & Epidemiology
Co-Director, Hopkins GIM Fellowship Program

Craig Pollack, MD, MHS, MS

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Oncology
Co-Director, Hopkins GIM Fellowship Program

Jeanne Clark, MD, MPH, FACP

The Frederick Brancati, MD Professor of Medicine
Joint Appointment in Epidemiology
Director, Division of General Internal Medicine
Past Director, Hopkins GIM Fellowship