Physician Fellowships in Climate Medicine

In 2017, we inaugurated the nation’s first graduate medical education (GME) fellowship in Climate & Health Science Policy with the purpose of empowering health care professionals through education, policy, and communication skills. Our goal: to train highly credible, knowledgeable health leaders in clinical, basic science, and policy settings.

What we discovered was one fellow per year was not enough. The fellowship was started as a traditional GME fellowship within the Department of Emergency Medicine and the growing demand from young health care professionals to participate in this experience convinced us that we had to scale up.


"These new fellowship opportunities serve as a powerful demonstration of the expanded role for physician advocates in a time when public concerns about health and climate are growing."

In July 2021, we will welcome our first five National Climate & Health Science Policy Fellows. These health care professionals come with varied board certifications and will be living in different parts of the country. We believe these new fellowship opportunities serve as a powerful demonstration of the expanded role for physician advocates in a time when public concerns about health and climate are growing, and the federal response is now ramping up to meet these needs.

We can't think of a better endeavor for our creative energies, educational passion, and professional work. Our team believes the impact of training leaders in the field of climate and health will force multiply our national risk assessment and influence policy change for years to come. It is our hope that the University of Colorado School of Medicine will be the center of Climate Medicine and that our fellowship graduates will become the formidable innovators and leaders we need on this critical issue for humanity.


Jay Lemery, MD
Co-Fellowship Director


Ceci Sorensen, MD
Co-Fellowship Director

John Balbus

John Balbus, MD, MPH
Fellowship Director, Federal Partnerships


Rosemary Rochford, PhD
Co-Director, Climate & Health Program

Application Details:

  • Successful applicants will have a demonstrated interest in environmental or public health, be excellent clinicians, and show leadership aptitude. 

  • Excellent communication skills (writing and oral presentation) are highly desired.



  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. 

  • Remote interviews will be held in October of each application year.

  • Deadline for applications is November 1st for fellowships commencing the following summer.


Fellowship Term:

  • July 1st – June 30th.


Submission Process:

  • Application packets should be emailed to, and include:
    • Cover letter
    • CV
    • 2-4 letters of recommendation (may be emailed separately)
    • Writing samples and links to oral presentations (optional)

Who is eligible for the fellowship?

  • The fellowships are open to any ABMS certified/eligible physician. To date we have had emergency medicine, family medicine, and internal medicine fellows. We welcome all physicians from any discipline.

  • Fellows will be credentialed through the University of Colorado School of Medicine as Visiting Scholars. Fellows will have CU emails and access to the CU Anschutz Medical Campus and Strauss Health Science Library.

Who are your partners?

  • We have five federal agency partners and numerous nonprofits.

  • Fellows are expected to work with one federal agency and 1-2 nonprofits during the year. Fellows will be placed via a match/rank system.

  • The Climate and Health Foundation supports the administration of this Fellowship.

What are the details of the fellowship?


  • Director of the Columbia University Global Consortium on Climate & Health Education.
  • Chair of the Climate & Health Group, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
  • Leader of the University of Colorado Consortium for Climate Change & Human Health’s Team.
  • Attendance at the COP25 Conference in Madrid with leading climate policy makers.

Media & Speaking:

  • Interview on National Public Radio.
  • Speaking engagements at numerous national and international conferences, including ACEP, AGU, AMS, SAEM, and CleanMed.

Research & Publications:

  • Co-author of landmark public health research study in Puerto Rico: Mortality in Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria (New England Journal of Medicine, 2018).
  • Co-author on paper quantifying ICU admissions with dust storms in the United States in partnership with EPA staff.
  • Co-author on defining the link between women’s health and climate change.
  • Lead author studying climate variability correlated with Zika in post-earthquake Ecuador.
  • Co-editor on a major climate health textbook for health providers and policymakers titled Global Climate Change & Human Health: From Science to Practice.
  • Co-creator on core content webinar for the Pan-American Health Organization.
  • Technical contributor to 2019 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, Policy Brief for the United States.
  • Technical contributor for 4th National Climate Assessment, U.S. Global Change Research Program.
  • Led review and pathway development to address adaptation in emergency departments to rapidly recognize and treat patients from extreme heat event.
  • Led research project with Colorado School of Public Health on chronic kidney disease of unknown origin in Guatemalan field workers.
  • Launched medical supply chain waste program with the ED Clinical Operations Pharmacy teams to improve processes to recognize and reduce waste in health care at UCHealth.
  • Field work in Syrian refugee camp.

2021-2022 Fellows:

eric balban md

Eric Balaban, MD


Bhargavi Chekuri, MD


Beth Gillespie, MD


Emily Sbiroli, MD

Stefan Wheat MD

Stefan Wheat, MD


Nonprofit Partners


Federal Partners


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EPA logo