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VA Chief Resident in Quality & Patient Safety Fellowship

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The University of Washington PM&R Residency Program offers a ground-breaking one-year PGY-5 Chief Resident in Quality and Safety (CRQS) based at VA Puget Sound Health Care System. We are recruiting for a candidate who has or will be graduating from an ACGME accredited program in PM&R to begin in July of 2020.

The fellowship will develop future leaders in rehabilitation healthcare service delivery who can improve clinical performance and disseminate knowledge to trainees and staff. Upon completion of the fellowship, the CRQS will graduate with strong experiential and theoretical foundations in quality improvement (QI), patient safety (PS), and healthcare operations.

The experience will entail direct ownership of QI/PS projects and access to QI/PS mentorship within the Veterans Health Administration - the largest united healthcare network in the United States. To support these activities, trainees will have structured local and national education opportunities. They will have direct access to operational data and design innovative UW resident curriculum on QI/PS which integrates real-time feedback on actual performance. By time of graduation, you will have experience implementing QI projects, educational credentials, and a mentorship network to prepare for leadership positions in health care service delivery.

Elements of the CRQS Experience

Personal Development: The CRQS will achieve learning objectives through a mix of formal and experiential learning. Significant proportions of the curriculum will be tailored according to the individual's development goals, which will complement national didactics organized by the National Center for Patient Safety.

Teaching: Up to 30 percent of the CRQS's time can be spent in developing and teaching QI/PS curricula for the residency program.

Clinical: Clinical experience of the healthcare system, while not the primary focus of the CRQS year, will be required to allow the trainee to have sufficient understanding of the systems he or she wishes to change. Clinical time is intended to hone skills in QI and remain connected to the busy reality of daily clinical operations, not to be a service obligation, and is limited to no more than 20 percent of overall time and applicants are encouraged to ensure maximum time for work on QI/PS projects.

Application Process

Please submit a CV and cover letter detailing your interest in the program, as well as contact information for your program director as a reference. Applications will be reviewed as they are received in a rolling admissions process. Applicants should be prepared to elaborate on their interested during phone and video interviews. 

Compensation and Benefits

The stipend rate will be based on the University of Washington GME pay schedule for R5 trainees).


  • Ileana Howard, MD- Program co-director
  • Stephen Burns, MD- Program co-director

Training Facilities

VA Puget Sound Health Care System

Life in Seattle

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Arts and Entertainment

There are many cultural activities in the Seattle area including but not limited to: live music, film, theater, dance, ballet, opera, museums, and art galleries.  To learn more about Seattle’s diverse Cultural Heritage check out the Visit Seattle Website.

Outdoor Recreation and Sports

Living in Seattle gives you access to almost any outdoor recreation activity and sport imaginable including: camping, hiking and backpacking, skiing, snowboarding, bicycling, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, walking, parks, white water rafting, ferries to the Olympic Peninsula, rock climbing and much more.  Seattle sports teams include UW Husky Athletics, Seahawks football, Mariners baseball, Sounders soccer, Storm basketball and Roller Derby.

Explore these resources to learn more about Seattle and the surrounding area:

  • - A resource for things to do in Seattle including arts, movies, night life, events, music, shopping, sports events, restaurants, and hotels.
  • Seattle Attractions - What do and see in Seattle.


Ileana Howard, MD

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