Program on Medicine and Religion

Training Opportunities

The Program on Medicine and Religion seeks to train the clinicians and other scholars who will establish a new academic field focused on the intersection of religion and medicine. Our vision is that these trainees will bring sustained attention to religion and medicine in leading academic medical centers across North America. They will invite students and practitioners to examine how religious traditions can serve as resources both for patients and practitioners.

The University of Chicago is a world-renowned institution, and its medical school, residency, and fellowship training programs have substantial research components that create excellent possibilities for multidisciplinary collaboration.

The Program on Medicine and Religion offers a variety of collaborative opportunities for students, residents, and fellows at the University of Chicago, as well as specialized opportunities for trainees and scholars at other institutions. Trainees of all levels can participate in our regular seminars, working groups, and conferences and in the courses offered by our faculty during the year. In addition, medical students, residents, fellows, and other visiting trainees may pursue research in an area of interest to our Program through collaboration and mentoring by one of our program faculty. Below are a few illustrative examples.

If you are interested in working with our Program faculty, please contact

Medical students

Scholarship & Discovery

The Scholarship and Discovery component of the Pritzker curriculum reaffirms the core mission of the University to generate new knowledge to improve human life. Students receive the necessary skills and training to complete a mentored scholarly project by the time of graduation.

Summer Research Program

The Summer Research Program is an eleven week medical research opportunity available to first year medical students. Students develop a well-defined project and work with faculty mentors throughout the summer to conduct research. In addition to their research, students are required to attend weekly cluster meetings and seminars.

Calvin Fentress Fellowship Awards (for 4th year medical students)

The Calvin Fentress Fellowship Awards were created to encourage research activities by students during their fourth elective year. The Fentress Fellows receive a $1000 stipend for completing a research project, which they present at the annual Senior Scientific Session.

Medical Student Electives

Highly-motivated students may, in consultation with a faculty member within the Program on Medicine and Religion, undertake individualized electives locally and abroad to meet their research and scholarly needs.


Internal Medicine

The University of Chicago internal medicine training program emphasizes learning by doing, and this educational philosophy of resident autonomy and responsibility runs through all three years of the program. Residents are constantly challenged to solve problems on their own, but are backed by an accessible, full-time faculty interested in and responsible for teaching residents. Residents may dedicate research elective time to pursue a project under guidance from faculty members from the Program on Medicine and Religion.

Emergency Medicine

The emergency medicine resident is expected to develop an area of special interest-expertise and demonstrate scholarship pursuant to graduation. To enrich the clinical and academic experience of training, each resident is expected to actively participate in at least one research project and prepare a paper for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. Each residency class has an assigned faculty member who is responsible for ensuring that every resident is given the guidance and academic expertise necessary to complete meaningful scholarship. Program on Medicine and Religion faculty members can be available to lend additional support and knowledge for multi-disciplinary projects.

For Post-Residency Fellows:

General Internal Medicine

General Internal Medicine fellows can complete a two-year fellowship program preparing them for careers in health services research or medical education. Coursework can lead to a Master’s degree in Public Policy or Health Studies. Major research opportunities span faculty interests, including religion, vulnerable populations, health disparities, quality of care and outcomes, cost-effectiveness, mental health, obesity, and diabetes.

Hospital Medicine

The Department of Hospital Medicine offers two major research fellowship training programs. The Hospitalist Scholars Program is a 2-3 year fellowship designed to prepare hospital medicine physicians for academic careers as researchers, educators, or clinical leaders with expertise in quality improvement. Trainees participate in an intensive summer introduction to health service research, biostatistics, and clinical epidemiology and may then continue on to execute a mentored research project and obtain a Master’s Degree in Health Studies, Public Policy, or other relevant areas.

Clinical Medical Ethics

The MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics fellowship program began in 1986 and has been immensely successful, training more than 150 clinicians. The Center offers a one-year part-time fellowship program and a two-year Master’s degree program for clinicians and academic physicians. Fellows in each program are required to pursue mentored research projects.

MERITS Fellowship

The MERITS Fellowship in Medical Education, run by the Pritzker School of Medicine, provides postgraduate fellows with the conceptual and practical skills required for successful future careers as medical education scholars and leaders. Fellows participate in a curriculum drawn from the fields of education, sociology, biostatistics, and ethics to develop innovative teaching methods, and undertake successful program implementation and evaluation. Fellows participate in a focused curriculum, research in medical education workshops, mentored projects, and active engagement with a rich network of colleagues and faculty in an environment of collaborative learning and support.

Emergency Medicine

The Section of Emergency Medicine has long-established post-residency level junior faculty programs in medical education, resuscitation medicine, and administration. In collaboration with Program in Medicine and Religion faculty, incoming residents may pursue the physician-scientist development program combining residency training with 2-3 years of fellowship/junior faculty development. This is a highly individualized program and residents or post-graduate trainees should consult with Dr. Padela if interested.

Visiting Trainee Opportunities:

Medical students, residents, fellows, and graduate or post-doctoral scholars from across the allied health, social science, and humanities fields can join our community for advanced training and scholarship. Interested individuals are encouraged to consult with our directors and faculty with proposed activities and scholarship.

Initiative on Islam and Medicine Medical Student Summer Internship

The Initiative on Islam and Medicine offers a Medical Student Internship for students in their first and fourth year of medical school. The internship is for 6 to 8 weeks, and includes a directed, mentored reading course that introduces students to critical concepts in Islamic theology and law that undergird ethical frameworks within Islam. Additionally, students are exposed to exemplar works within the wide-ranging field of Islamic bioethics. The course is divided into two parts: theoretical aspects of Islamic bioethics and practical aspects of Islamic bioethics.