The Harvard Global Emergency Medicine Fellowship prepares physicians to become leaders in global health, international emergency care systems, and humanitarian response. Fellows develop a broad range of clinical, research, teaching, and administrative skills in humanitarian aid and disaster response, emergency systems development, health program administration and funding, cross-cultural collaboration, international public health, and human rights.

The fellowship program is designed for emergency physicians preparing for a career in academic global emergency medicine and/or leadership and research in international health and humanitarian organizations. 

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Fellowship Experience

Harvard is rich with global experts and leaders in many areas relevant to the fellowship. Fellows have access to a wealth of resources including faculty at Harvard Medical School, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, and the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. 

Our division has 16 faculty members, making it the largest Global Emergency Medicine Division in the United States. Two year fellows without a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree will complete one at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, which is fully funded by the fellowship. The Harvard Chan School of Public Health provides a world-class education for future leaders in global health. 

Fellows typically enroll in the Global Health concentration of the MPH program and complete their degree requirements as part-time students over the two-year fellowship period. One year fellows already possessing an MPH have the option to attend courses and short programs at the School of Public Health if desired. Fellows prepare grand round presentations and participate in lectures and teaching conferences at Harvard University, affiliated medical centers, and other institutions. Fellows attend several core courses during their fellowship, with full financial support from the fellowship. 

  1. The Health Emergencies in Large Populations (H.E.L.P.) course offered by the International Committee of the Red Cross at 10 locations worldwide. This interactive two-week course is designed to promote professionalism in humanitarian assistance in conflict and disasters. Costs of attending the course are paid by the fellowship program.
  2. The  Humanitarian Response Intensive Course offered by the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard in Boston. This two-week course prepares aid workers for international disaster and humanitarian crisis response. The course includes a three-day field simulation of a complex humanitarian emergency.
  3. The International Emergency Department Leadership Institute Leadership Essential Course was created by Harvard Medical School faculty and other international experts to provide ED leaders with the skills and knowledge they need to operate successful emergency departments in any part of the world. This five-day course provides a unique opportunity for the fellow to interact with senior ED leadership from around the world. 

International Experience

The emergency medicine faculty of the Division of Global Emergency Care and Humanitarian Studies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is actively involved in emergency care systems strengthening, global heath research, and humanitarian response. 

Field experiences are designed to increase the fellow’s knowledge base and provide an opportunity to practice acquired skills. Fellows are expected to take an active leadership role during field placements. Past fellows have responded to provide emergency care in conflicts and disasters around the world, managed infectious disease crises, conducted research in a broad variety of settings, created and led emergency medicine training programs, and worked with multilateral organizations and governments to inform policy. Our program prides itself on a wide range of placements: our fellows have worked in every region of the world with an extensive list of non-governmental organizations, multilateral agencies, and United Nations organizations. 

Throughout the fellowship, fellows are generally expected to be prepared to travel for up to two months with as little as 48 hours’ notice. Strong support from the emergency medicine faculty provides ED schedule flexibility that allows last minute fellow deployment to disaster areas. Overall, about three to four months per year are spent working abroad. Overseas projects typically last from two weeks to two months depending on the nature of the project and the fellow’s MPH class schedule. Fieldwork is arranged and coordinated by the fellows under the supervision of the Fellowship Director. Fieldwork encompasses the following core areas:

-International emergency systems evaluation, research, and development
-Humanitarian assistance, disaster response, and refugee health
-Health and human rights policy development
-Global public health
-Emergency medicine education and residency program development
-International medical provider training

Our program prides itself on a wide range of placements. Travel medicine experience is also available through the Department of Emergency Medicine for interested fellows who elect to serve for one month as expedition physicians.

Clinical Experience

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is a leader in tertiary care and is a Level I Trauma and Burn Center. As attending physicians, fellows supervise residents in the BWH emergency department. The 81 bed ED serves 60,000 patients per year. The Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency is a PGY 1-4 program with 60 residents, many of whom have a strong interest in international health. The Brigham houses a large Physician Assistant (PA) program in the ED and fellows will supervise them during some ED shifts. Fellows will also supervise and teach Harvard Medical Students in the ED. Finally, fellows are given the option to work a portion of their shifts at the Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain which provides the opportunity to work in a sole provider community setting.

Fellows receive clinical and academic appointments at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Fellows are expected to participate in academic activities and are encouraged to attend Emergency Department faculty meetings as their schedules allow. There are numerous opportunities for teaching residents, PAs, medical students, and paramedic students that the fellow can pursue. Fellows provide clinical coverage equal to 0.6 FTE each year and typically work eight or nine nine-hour shifts per month when they are not traveling overseas. Fellows receive a competitive salary, currently at $87,300 for first year and $89,046 for second year. A generous package of faculty benefits, CME funds ($3,000), and hospital parking is provided. Access to the Harvard library system is provided as part of the fellows’ academic appointment.

Full tuition and fees related to the Harvard School of Public Health MPH degree program, including the cost of required textbooks (up to $1,000), are covered by the fellowship. Costs of attending the ICRC’s H.E.L.P. course, the Humanitarian Response Intensive Course, and the International Emergency Department Leadership Institute’s Essentials Course are also fully paid. Fellowship-related travel costs are paid, including airfare, room and board, global malpractice insurance coverage, and international medical and evacuation insurance. Two weeks of vacation and two weeks for educational pursuits are allowed per year.

Fellowship Curriculum

The fellowship begins July 1 and lasts two years. A fellow who already has an MPH degree will complete a one-year fellowship. Fellows divide their time between international projects and research, Harvard Chan School of Public Health classes, and clinical work in the ED. Fellows are required to sit for the ABEM written and oral boards in their first year of fellowship. All fellows will attend and complete the following courses during their fellowship. All cost related to attending these courses is supported by the fellowship. 

  1. Health Emergencies in Large Populations (H.E.L.P.) course offered by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland (June) 
  2. Humanitarian Response Intensive Course offered by the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard in Boston (April)
  3. International Emergency Department Leadership Institute Essentials Course in Europe (November) Beyond this, the curriculum is tailored to fellows’ individual interests and is centered around the key areas outlined below. 

During the fellowship, a fellow will complete a project related to each area to ensure a well-rounded experience.
  1. Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Response 
  2. Emergency Care Development 
  3. Displaced Populations 

Fellows are encouraged to initiate new endeavors, advance preexisting work, or support one of our many ongoing projects. 

Fellows are expected to produce at least one scholarly project of publishable quality related to the field during their fellowship. In addition, fellows are strongly encouraged to complete at least one grant proposal during the fellowship. The Fellowship Director and the Emergency Department’s grants administrator are available to guide fellows through the process.

Fellows become affiliates of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), a program developed to encourage university-wide collaboration among Harvard faculty promoting research, training, and policy development in humanitarian assistance and conflict studies. HHI provides an excellent resource for field projects and research.

For two year fellows completing an MPH at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health will complete a minimum of 45 credits that includes the core requirements listed below. In addition, fellows may choose to pursue the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Humanitarian Studies. Further information on the MPH program and courses is available in the MPH Curriculum Guide.

Study Competencies for the MPH in Global Health:

1. Evaluate and apply qualitative and quantitative research methods for analyzing a wide variety of global health challenges and settings

2. Design and evaluate global health interventions under different circumstances with different objectives, including their relationship with health system reform

3. Develop public health policies to reflect technical, normative, and political considerations

4. Design communication and implementation strategies, including leadership capacities for influencing public health action

5. Describe various ethical perspectives for understanding the values and consequences of public health policies and decisions; and analyze the ethical dimensions of public health problems, policies, and systems according to these perspectives

Fellowship candidates must apply separately to the Harvard School of Public Health MPH program by the December 1 deadline. Costs of required textbooks (up to $1,000), tuition, and fees are paid by the fellowship program. 

Fellows meet with the Fellowship Director regularly and receive a formal written evaluation every six months. The Chairman of Emergency Medicine reviews fellows’ clinical performance. International fieldwork is evaluated by field personnel and fellowship faculty. The fellowship curriculum is reviewed every six months by the Fellowship Director to ensure relevance to fellowship goals. The fellow will review clinical, academic, and field experiences regularly with the Fellowship Director. 


Project Name & Description Details
Certification Program in Emergency Medicine (CPEM)
Year Long Emergency Medicine Physician Level Training Program in Karachi, Pakistan
Partners in Health / Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais
Emergency Medicine Residency Training Program in Mirebalais, Haiti.
World Health Organization
Working to support the WHO Emergency, Trauma, and Acute Care Programme
Emergency Medicine Training (MMed) at Makerere University
Visiting Faculty to support emergency medicine training at Makerere University and Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda.


Sean Kivlehan, MD, MPH
Program Director

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Mary Kate Quirk
Mary Kate Quirk
Faculty / Admin

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Additional Application / Interview Information

Applications are due by Friday, Sept. 22nd, 2023 at 5pm EST. Only complete applications will be reviewed, which consist of the following: Completed Application, Letter of Intent, Personal Statement, 3 Letters of Recommendation (one from Residency Program Director of Chair), and Official USMLE Transcripts.
Application Criteria
Prospective fellows must be American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) board certified or board eligible by the July 1st start date. Prospective fellows must be U.S. citizens or hold either an H1B or O visa.
Application Process

All applications must be submitted by the application deadline through the SAEM Application Portal button below. Please note, you must also register for the NRMP Match. For questions regarding the application portal, contact helpdesk@saem.org. Email iem@partners.org with any questions specific to the Harvard/Brigham program. 


Important Dates

Applications may only be submitted between July 1, 2023 and Sep 22, 2023
Application Deadline
Sep 22, 2023- Only completed applications received before the deadline will be reviewed.
Interview Date
TBD - Applicants selected for an interview will be notified shortly after the application deadline.