In order to increase access to primary care for the underserved, the GE Foundation and National Medical Fellowships founded the Primary Care Leadership Program (PCLP) in 2012. PCLP provides future healthcare professionals with an opportunity to experience the challenges and rewards of primary care practice in community health centers (CHCs) across the US. This program is open to medical students and graduate-level nursing and physician assistant students who are poised to become leaders in primary care.

In 2021, PCLP Site Partners were located in:

  • Boston, MA
  • Gateway Cities, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Oakland, CA
(Please note cities for 2022 program year may change)

For six weeks, PCLP Scholars actively engage with a CHC Site Partner and PCLP mentors in leadership training, team-based project activities, and healthcare service delivery. 2022 programming in Boston and the Gateway Cities, MA will focus on substance use disorders (SUD), behavioral health integration, and combatting the opioid crisis. Programming in Chicago, IL and Houston, TX will focus on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and culturally competent care for patients living with or at risk of contracting HIV. Programming in Los Angeles, CA will be Site Partner-specific and generalized to primary care in CHC settings.

2022 Applications will open on November 1, 2021 and close February 6, 2022 at 11:59pm Eastern Time

Program dates for 2022

  • Boston, MA and Gateway Cities, MA: June 6 – July 15, 2022
  • Chicago, IL and Houston, TX: June 13 – July 22, 2022
  • Los Angeles, CA: June 20 – July 29, 2022

NOTE: We are currently planning to implement PCLP as the traditional in-person program in 2022. However, scholars should be prepared to pivot to a virtual program model depending on COVID-19 related conditions.

Scholars each receive a $5,000 scholarship stipend that is expected to cover travel, living, and lodging expenses during the service-learning experience period.

Click here to start an application: https://nmf.smapply.io/ 

Please read below for more information, and contact us with any questions or concerns at pclpinfo@nmfonline.org.

Application Timeline

The PCLP application will open November 1, 2021.

NMF is offering Early Decision admittance to PCLP in 2022. Students who apply Early Decision will be notified no later than February 2022 with either an acceptance offer or alternate status. Alternates will be considered for the April 2022 decision date. Accepted Early Decision applicants will have one week to commit to PCLP or they will be moved to the alternate pool.

Acceptance of the Early Decision offer is a binding agreement to participate in PCLP during the assigned dates. Please note that if a student accepts a Scholar offer during Early Decision, then withdraws from their commitment, a formal letter of complaint will be sent to the student’s Dean and the student will be ineligible to apply for NMF awards for two years. The Early Decision application deadline is Friday, December 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM Pacific.

Applicant Resources

A flyer with general information about the 2022 program is available for download here. Please note that this information reflects program data as of October 26, 2021 and may be updated during the application cycle.

If you have questions or concerns, or would like to speak with a PCLP Alumnus about the program, please contact pclpinfo@nmfonline.org.

Program Eligibility

PCLP Scholar candidates must meet the following eligibility:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) approval letter
  • Currently enrolled in an accredited medical school or graduate-level nursing or physician assistant program located in the U.S.
  • Identification as a student underrepresented in medicine* and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged student
  • Demonstrated leadership early in career
  • Commitment to serving medically underserved communities

*NMF designates the following racial/ethnic groups as underrepresented student in healthcare: African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian American (Vietnamese and Cambodian only), Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

Program Requirements

Scholars complete their program requirements during June and July, including a six-week on-site period. Program requirements include:

  • Program Orientation;
  • 200 service-learning hours at assigned CHC site placement;
  • Leadership Training, including one-on-one interactions with site leadership; attendance at management and other staff meetings; site leadership interviews; and participation in Leadership Seminar Series webinars;
  • PCLP Project, including a project proposal, report, and poster presentation;
  • Clinical Experience; and
  • Program Assessment

PCLP 2022 FAQs

How are accepted Scholars matched with a CHC?

Factors include applicant preference, academic interest, local services (i.e., childcare), and availability during the program period.

What are my weekly hours for PCLP?

Most PCLP Site Partners operate on a business schedule, i.e. 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM on weekdays, but this may vary by site.

What is my day-to-day going to be like on site?

This varies among PCLP sites, but we provide Peer Mentors from past PCLP Scholar cohorts to help describe each experience.

May I miss a few days of the program?

No. PCLP spans only six weeks, and Scholars may not miss time on site.

What are the program dates for PCLP in 2022?

  • Boston, MA and Gateway Cities, MA: June 6 – July 15, 2022
  • Chicago, IL and Houston, TX: June 13 – July 22, 2022
  • Los Angeles, CA: June 20 – July 29, 2022

PCLP 2022 Application FAQs

I’m having technical issues with my application (logging in, submitting my LORs, uploading documents, etc.). What is the fastest way to get this resolved?

Technical issues happen, but don’t worry our team is here to help throughout the application process. Please contact pclpinfo@nmfonline.org for assistance.

May I submit my undergraduate unofficial transcript?

Yes. First-year students may submit their most recent complete unofficial transcript.

I’m not familiar with leadership at my new school. May I request a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) from someone else?

Yes. A Letter of Recommendation from academic leadership at a prior institution is acceptable.

My Letter of Recommendation writer needs extra time. Is that all right?

Yes. LOR writers may have up to two additional weeks after the application deadline to submit their materials via SMApply. Thus, you do not need to wait for your recommenders to submit your application.

My recommenders are having trouble locating the email to submit my LOR. How can I resolve this issue and make sure they are able to submit my LOR?

This issue is very common as institutions have strong firewalls that block emails from our application system. First, have them check their spam and junk folders. If your recommenders did not receive their notifications, please have them email their letters directly to pclpinfo@nmfonline.org.