The Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 1969

Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (Duke)



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The Clinical Scholars Program was born out of a conversation among five senior professors of medicine and Margaret Mahoney, then a Carnegie Corporation program officer. The group was concerned that the education of future physicians was inadequate to meet the needs of society, and that the medical schools and medical establishment in general had an inadequate understanding of the need to respond to the societal changes that clearly required advances in medical care to meet the shifting needs of the population over time. Mahoney encouraged the professors to follow up on their conversation, and the Clinical Scholars Program (CSP) was initiated, in 1969, under the auspices of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Commonwealth Fund.
Clinical Scholars was initiated as a national program, with sites at each of the universities at which the five professors taught (McGill, Case Western Reserve, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford). The sites have since changed in both number (expanding and contracting over the years) and location (none of the original sites has been in continuous operation since ’69), and there is no central curriculum common to them all. Two-year fellowships were offered to young doctors who had recently completed their residencies. The doctors were trained in economics, sociology, law, statistics, education, management, and epidemiology. The idea was to provide them the expertise to influence health care policy and medical care, and strengthen the nascent field of health services research.



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