Policy and Advocacy

Our residency incorporates policy and advocacy education longitudinally into our curriculum for all residents. Residents also have the opportunity to engage in additional elective and extracurricular activities. The curriculum focuses on experiential learning and opportunities to use policy and advocacy skills in the real world. UCFMR has been recognized by other programs and on our academic campus as a leader in policy and advocacy education. 


Curricular Experiences

The Population Health, Advocacy, and Community Engagement (PHACE) curriculum spans the three years of residency. Advocacy components of this curriculum build on one another over the three years and include the following.

  • R1: Advocacy 101– how to get involved in advocacy and policy mapping workshop
  • R1: Public narrative and storytelling in advocacy
  • R2: Legislative Testimony workshop and visit to the state Capitol
  • R2: Op-ed writing workshop
  • R3: Advocacy Skills Project – joining a stakeholder meeting and practicing written or oral advocacy skills for a current policy issue

Residency didactics also includes a Policy and Advocacy lecture series that occurs every-other-month. These lectures include recaps of the state legislative session and outside speakers from local advocacy organizations. Additional topic-specific health policy lectures are included in other rotations, including during the Advanced Primary Care Leadership rotation. These lectures cover payment reform, insurance coverage, primary care workforce, and other issues pertinent to family physicians.

Extracurricular Opportunities

The Health Policy Journal Club hosts monthly meetings to discuss articles of interest. The journal club is interdisciplinary and interprofessional and open to both learners and faculty. Topics covered have spanned from racial health equity to climate change and health to the federal vision for payment reform.

The residency covers the cost of membership to the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians. Residents are invited to run for the Board of Directors or join the Legislative Committee.

Elective Opportunities

We offer several different opportunities for electives.

  • State Capitol Rotation: Residents can serve as a Health Policy Aide to a state legislator during the legislative session (January to May). Health Policy Aides prepare briefs, develop talking points, research health policy, and engage in stakeholder meetings. 
  • Farley Health Policy Center Rotation: The Farley Health Policy Center on the Anschutz Medical Campus researches and translates evidence to inform policy to improve whole health for all. Residents are paired with a project team in an area of interest and work towards a concrete deliverable. The rotation includes mentorship and attending the Farley Health Policy Center team meetings.
  • Customized Policy & Advocacy Elective: Residents are encouraged to work with a faculty mentor to craft their own policy & advocacy elective. Past electives have focused on a specific topic (e.g.  Opioids & Substance Use Disorder, Climate Medicine, Single Payer Insurance), on the Colorado Legislative Session, or on partnerships with specific organizations (e.g. Colorado Academy of Family Physicians, GME Initiative).
  • Residents have also done away electives in health policy, including at the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care in Washington, DC.



Family Medicine (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Academic Office One

12631 East 17th Avenue

Box F496

Aurora, CO 80045


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