The Quality, Safety, and Comparative Effectiveness Research Training (QSCERT) Program

For more than five years, CHPR has offered two Quality, Safety, and Comparative Effectiveness Research Training (QSCERT) programs.  Both fellowship programs provide postdoctoral researchers advanced, multidisciplinary training in clinical, statistical, and social sciences related to health care quality, safety, and comparative effectiveness research.

The AHRQ-funded QSCERT (T-32) program trains promising postdoctoral researchers (MD and PhD) with an interest in surgical, trauma, and emergency care.

The HRSA-funded QSCERT-PC program is designed for board-certified/eligible primary care practitioners and PhD scholars with an interest in primary care research, addressing issues of quality, cost, and population health.

QSCERT (T32) Program Description and Application
The QSCERT postdoctoral fellowship training (M.D. residents/fellows or Ph.D scholars) is supported by funding from the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research  (AHRQ).

The Quality, Safety, and Comparative Effectiveness Research Training (QSCERT) T32 Program is a multidisciplinary, postdoctoral training program in quality, safety and comparative effectiveness research with an emphasis on training future leaders in surgical, trauma, and urgent/emergency care and other areas of relevant outcomes research.

Scholars participate in a two-year training course and will be selected based on a competitive application process in which academic qualifications, career goals, and the quality of the training environment will be important considerations for funding.  The three positions for 2017-2018 have been filled.

In addition to the required CER core curriculum and career development components, scholars will choose one of three different training tracks.  Each track is founded on the scholar’s prior experience and training (e.g., MD vs. PhD) and individual learning needs, and has its own requirements.   It is possible (but not required) to obtain an MPH or MS degree as part of the fellowship.

All applicants must identify a potential faculty mentor at the time of application. Consultation is available with program leads to identify an appropriate mentor. In general, trainees will devote approximately 40 hours per week to training program activities, with a balance between curriculum requirements and research training commitments. As part of their training, clinician scholars will be required to maintain and cultivate their clinical expertise through limited clinical duties, grand rounds, and CME in their field to ensure that their research is intrinsically linked to patient care. Awardees receive a stipend and limited research support funds.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Strong academic credentials and good communication skills
  • Citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, i.e., in possession of a currently valid Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I- 551), or some other legal verification of legal admission as a permanent resident.
  • Ability to commit to all requirements of the training program
  • Hold an MD, DO, or PhD in an appropriate discipline, with completion of at least one year of residency training and achievement of medical licensure (if applicable)
  • Interest in developing a career in quality, safety and/or comparative effectiveness research.
  • Support from a mentor in the candidate’s proposed disciplinary home (i.e., a clinical department for MD graduates, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing for nursing PhD graduates, and the appropriate non-clinical department for other PhD graduates)

    Completed application form includes:
  • a statement of specific research interests and goals for the proposed training period;
  • curriculum vitae, with any prior research publications or presentations listed;
  • two letters of recommendation, including one from the proposed faculty mentor at UC Davis;
  • mentor’s biosketch or CV; and
  • official transcripts.

Click to download the application here (PDF) »

The QSCERT (T32) program is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ).

Meet our QSCERT (T32) Fellows

Bateni, Sarah, M.D., General Surgery Resident. Has completed three years of general surgery clinical residency training at UC Davis Medical Center. Now devoting two years to research with a focus on postoperative outcomes among patients with advanced cancer.





Cox, Jessica, M.D., Department of Surgery


Jaime, Maria Catrina Diestro, Ph.D., General Medicine


Ethan Evans, Ph.D., is interested in Medical Sociology, Organization Studies, Health Disparities and Social Welfare. His dissertation focused on implementation of the Affordable Care Act, asking: "How are new organization arrangements between public agencies and private for- and non-profit organizations creating unanticipated barriers to system function?" With the project, he seeks to understand the influence of institutions and changes to benefit provision, healthcare system governance, and service delivery. As a QSCERT Fellow, Ethan will extend his mezzo-level institutional analysis to explore impacts on patient health.

Other projects include: assessing access to primary care for California's expanded Medi-Cal population, exploring health access disparities for children of immigrants, state policy effects on access improvement, and the impact of family instability on decisions to seek formal medical care across the life course.


Aimee Moulin, M.D., is an emergency medicine physician with a research interest in Behavioral Health Emergencies and Health Policy






White, Anne, Ph.D., is interested in Medical Sociology. Her dissertation research focused on doctor-patient communication in a rural setting with a focus on clinical general surgery interactions using a mixed-method approach combining Conversation Analysis, ethnography, and statistical analysis.  She received her PhD in Sociology from University of California Los Angeles and her BA in Sociology from Princeton University.  As a QSCERT Fellow, Anne is interested in looking at how pain medication gets requested and offered during patient visits.

Carden, Anthony, M.D., M.P.H., is a surgeon in UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California. He received his medical degree from Keck School of Medicine of USC and has been in practice between 6-10 years.

Chenoweth, James, M.D., obtained his undergraduate degree in biology from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. He attended Loma Linda University School of Medicine and obtained his M.D. in 2010. He did residency training in Emergency Medicine at the UC Davis Medical Center and will continue as an assistant professor in Emergency Medicine at UC Davis Medical Center.

Chin, David, Ph.D., completed his Ph.D. in epidemiology at the University of California, Davis and is a postdoctoral scholar at UC Davis Medical Center.

Daniels, Brock, M.D., M.P.H., was an emergency medicine physician and research fellow in the AHRQ funded Quality, Safety and Comparative Effectiveness Research Training Program (QSCERT) at the Center for Healthcare Policy Research. Brock’s research focuses was on improving the timeliness and effectiveness of care delivered in the Emergency Department, particularly the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based guidelines for appropriate use of advanced imaging. Brock also completed a Master of Advanced Studies in clinical research and health informatics through the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP). Dr. Daniels accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Weill Cornell College of Medicine and New York Presbyterian Hospital. There he will be helping to build their research division and expand their telehealth program.

Doiron, Robert, M.D., Surgery, has completed three years in the General Surgery Residency Program at UC Davis Medical Center. His research focuses on designing, validating, and implementing simulation curriculum into surgical education in order to improve surgical skills in the operating room and surgical outcomes.Dr. Doiron will be continuing his surgery residency at UC Davis School of Medicine in the Department of Surgery.

DeSista (Amarnath), Anna Lee, M.D., M.P.H., received her undergraduate studies from Boston College and her M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine. She is currently working at the California Department of Health Care Services as  Medical Consultant/Medi-Cal Managed Care.

Dhillon, Tejveer, M.D., obtained his undergraduate degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California, Davis and obtained his M.D. from Albany Medical College in Albany, New York. He will continue in Department of Surgery at UC Davis Medical Group.

Lin, Yichen, M.D.

Perez, Susan, Ph.D., just completed her Ph.D. from The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, with a research focus on how consumers use the Internet to obtain and process health-related information for themselves and their families. She will be taking a position with Sacramento State University.

Pintor, Jessie Kemmick, Ph.D., M.P.H., mixed-methods research explores immigration and healthcare policy, disparities in access to and quality of care for children and families, and the effectiveness of health and healthcare interventions for vulnerable populations. She holds a PhD in Health Services Research & Policy and an MPH in Maternal & Child Health from the University of Minnesota. Prior to entering graduate school, she worked for six years at a social services agency serving Latino immigrants in Minnesota. Dr. Pintor accepted a position as a faculty member at the Drexel University School of Public Health in the Department of Health Management & Policy.

White VanGompel, Emily, M.D., is a graduate of the UCDMC family medicine residency. She will be taking a position at the University of Chicago / Northshore as an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine in a research faculty position.

Woodworth, Lindsey, Ph.D., recently completed a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Florida. Her research is in the area of applied microeconomics with an emphasis in health. She will be starting a tenure-track faculty position (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Economics at the University of South Carolina.

2018-2019 QSCERT-PC APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 15, 2018 (Apply Now)

The Quality, Safety, and Comparative Effectiveness Research Training in Primary Care (QSCERT-PC) postdoctoral fellowship training program for board-certified/eligible primary care practitioners and PhD scholars is supported by National Research Service Award (NRSA) funding for primary care research training, from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The mission of the QSCERT-PC program is to prepare family physicians, general internists, general pediatricians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, PhD-prepared nurses, and PhD-prepared social and quantitative scientists for careers as outstanding primary care researchers, focusing on quality and safety in primary care, and on the comparative effectiveness of primary care and system-level interventions. Through training in the clinical, statistical, and social sciences in a vibrant interprofessional, multidisciplinary environment, QSCERT-PC trainees will acquire the skills and experience they need to make important contributions to primary care research by addressing issues of quality, cost, and population health. Fellows will educate the next generation of primary care researchers and will serve as role models in improving care for culturally diverse, underserved populations.

QSCERT-PC is designed to complement and augment CHPR’s T32 program sponsored by AHRQ called QSCERT, which is a similar multidisciplinary postdoctoral program with an emphasis on training researchers interested in surgical, trauma, and emergency care quality and outcomes. QSCERT-PC leverages the success of this program and UC Davis’ long track record of innovation in primary care education and research by adding a primary care component. QSCERT-PC is interprofessional and multidisciplinary at its core, with leaders, mentors, and trainees drawn from all primary care disciplines, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, the Department of Public Health Sciences, and Graduate Groups in Epidemiology, Economics, Biostatistics, and more.

Scholars selected for the 1 to 3 year program will participate in training courses and are selected based on a competitive application process in which academic qualifications, career goals, and the quality of the training environment are important considerations. In addition to the required curriculum and career development components, scholars choose among five different training tracks. Each track is founded on the scholar’s prior experience and training (e.g., MD vs. PhD) and individual learning needs, and has its own requirements.

Objectives/Measurable Outcomes

  • Objective 1: To recruit and train 12-15 board-eligible primary care physicians, NPs/PAs, and PhD nurses and other researchers (i.e., 25 person-years of training averaging 2 years duration).

  • Objective 1.1: Each MD/NP/PA trainee should successfully complete the MPH or the MAS in Clinical Research at UC Davis (unless they have previously completed an equivalent program).

  • Objective 1.2: Each trainee should learn the tools of quality, safety, and CER by participating in seminar series, journal clubs, research conferences, and selected CTSC courses.

  • Objective 1.3: Each trainee should augment his or her skills as a primary care physician and/or educator by teaching students and/or clinical trainees, and self-assessing strengths/weaknesses.

  • Objective 1.4: Each trainee should successfully complete at least one mentored research project, present the results, and write at least 2 high-quality manuscripts for submission to journals.

  • Objective 2: To place 12-15 training graduates in positions that will enable them to have significant impact on the nation’s primary care research agenda over the subsequent 25 years.

  • Objective 2.1: To increase the diversity of the primary care research workforce by placing at least 3 trainees into positions outside medical school primary care departments.

  • Objective 2.2: To increase the diversity of the primary care research workforce by graduating at least 3 trainees from underrepresented minority or disadvantaged groups. UC Davis applicants are strongly encouraged to identify a potential faculty mentor at the time of application. In general, trainees will be required to devote approximately 40 hours per week to training program activities and to balance their curriculum requirements with research training commitments. As part of their training, clinician scholars will be required to maintain and cultivate their clinical expertise through limited clinical duties, grand rounds, and CME in their field to ensure that their research is intrinsically linked to patient care.

Meet our QSCERT-PC Fellows 

Hamline, Michelle, M.D., Ph.D., is a pediatric hospitalist and research fellow in the Quality, Safety, and Comparative Effectiveness Research Training in Primary Care (QSCERT-PC) Program. She is also pursuing her Master of Advanced Studies in clinical research through the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program. Her Research centers on evaluating and improving the pediatric hospital discharge process, with a focus on improving continuity of care from inpatient to outpatient care settings.


Kahle, Sarah, Ph.D., M.Ed., is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on children's self-regulation. Her postdoctoral work will explore effective, brief interventions for children with emotional and behavioral difficulties, and how self-regulation can be addressed in primary care.






Dove, Melanie, MPH, ScD is an epidemiologist with a focus on health policy, tobacco control, and maternal/child health.  Her dissertation assessed the impact smoke-free air laws have on children's exposure to secondhand smoke and respiratory illnesses.  Her research also includes the impact of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance among pregnant women and access to contraceptives among women of reproductive age.  In addition, she is examining California Helpline data (with a focus on pregnant women) during the Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Project, which gave smokers incentives for calling the Helpline and engaging in cessation counseling.  Melanie has an interest in analyzing publicly available survey data to answer research questions.  Melanie received a Bachelor's Degree from UC Irvine, MPH from Boston University and ScD from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


Hood-Medland, Eve Angeline, M.D., is a general internal medicine physician offering primary care for adult patients. Dr. Hood-Medland additional roles as clinical research fellow and medical student / resident educator keep her up-to-date on evidence based medicine. Dr. Hood-Medland's research interests include systems-based care, community medicine, and primary care based mental health and addiction services. Dr. Hood-Medland's other academic interests include clinical staff wellbeing, underserved medicine, and medical education. 


Kim, Christopher, M.D., M.P.H., is a staff physician in Pediatrics, Primary Care and Post-Doctorate Fellow with CHPR. Dr. Kim's research interests are in the health consequences of school absenteeism, and is investigating novel strategies to prevent school absenteeism due to chronic illness.