Medical Leaders Pathway (MLP)


The Medical Leaders Pathway (MLP) at the University of Colorado, Denver, prepares residents for lifelong careers as high-level organizational leaders: health system executives, community advocates, policy makers, heads of academic divisions and departments. The program aims to produce leaders who are at the forefront of national and international efforts to transform health care delivery and medical science by directing programs dedicated to scientific discovery, health equity, access, quality, safety, and improving the ​value of health care. 


The MLP is a comprehensive, 3-year training program for internal residents who seek careers as both clinicians and healthcare leaders. The MLP is open to residents who join the Categorical, Primary Care and Hospitalist tracks and is designed for residents who possess excellent potential to become executive-level leaders early in their careers and are interested in pursuing advanced leadership training during residency. 

Through structured educational sessions, intensive mentorship, and real-world multi-year projects, the MLP equips participants with expertise in 5 domains:

  • Management of complex healthcare systems, including academic, clinical and administrative programs
  • Health care policy and financing
  • Leadership of change through enhanced interpersonal skills
  • Systems redesign and clinical innovation
  • Personal development as a leader 


    These advanced skills build upon a common foundation in leadership and teamwork that we offer to all interns. The curriculum map for the MLP is shown below.


    Leadership Thread Foundations for Leading Advanced Leadership
    Personal Development •       Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Instrument
    •       Running an Effective Meeting/Rounds
    •       DiSC and TKI Profile – Understanding Communication and Conflict Preferences
    •       Essentials of Time & Energy Management
    •       Leadership Development Roadmap
    Team Dynamics •       High-Functioning Teams
    •       TeamSTEPPS Training
    •       Feedback Training
    •       Power and Influence
    •       Negotiation Fundamentals
    •       Teams, Culture, and Reliability
    •       Resilience, Polarities, and Agility
    Physicians as Health Care Leaders •       The Physician Leadership Imperative
    •       Healthcare Organizations as Complex Adaptive Systems
    •       Leading Change
    •       Basic and Advanced Stakeholder Management
    •       Finance and Value for Healthcare
    •       Policy Imperatives for Leaders

    A core component of the program is a capstone “Leadership Project” during R2 and R3 year, which allows participants to apply their knowledge and skills by leading an important, highly visible operational initiative within a portion of our dynamic healthcare ecosystem (e.g., teaching hospital, community clinic or partner organization, medical school, etc.). Participants have protected time for MLP activities across all 3 years of residency. 

    Selection Process

    Candidates will be given the opportunity to indicate interest in the MLP when they are invited to interview, and will have the opportunity to connect with faculty members on their interview day. Candidates will be selected based on their interest and leadership experience.  


    Application and Interview Process 

    Applicants interested in applying to the MLP should let us know of your interest at the time of ERAS application submission by emailing Cayleigh Brown at AND with a subject line that reads “MLP application”. The body of the email should consist of a brief Statement of interest in the University of Colorado Medical Leaders Program.​ 

    Medical Leaders Pathway​ Faculty & Staff

    Manny Diaz, MDCo-​Director,  Medical Leaders Program
    Emily Gottenborg, MD​ Co-Director,  Medical Leaders Program
    ​Cayleigh Brown Program Manager

​ ​

Clinician/Educator Pathway

The clinician/educator pathway is supported by outstanding clinician educators from across the medical center. Through a combination of mini-lectures, workshops, and direct observation, the pathway prepares graduates for success in a career in medical education. Far more than a 'residents as teachers' curriculum, the Clinician/Educator pathway provides formal training in:

Careers as a Clinician/Educator

Advanced Physical Diagnosis

Attending 101

Teaching at the Bedside

Successful Grand Rounds Presentations

Curricular development


Our Clinician/Educator Pathway is led by Interim Program Director Mel Anderson, MD​

Health Equity Pathway

The Health Equity Pathway was created in response to growing interest among residents for further training and experiences to address healthcare disparities. We have conceptualized this pathway as something broader than a "Global Health" pathway, as many of the foundational concepts and challanges are similar to the rural underserved, urban underserved, and those in the developing world. The pathway utilizes a combination of didactics, interactive sessions, and community immersion experienced to build a deeper understanding of the socioeconomic determinants of health and key issues affecting the medicall underserved. We aim to position our graduates to improve health equity through advocacy and recognition and adoption of community resources/partnerships.  Specific topics include: 

  • Socioeconomic Determinants of Health in our Community
  • Understanding Government Entitlement Programs
  • Health Literacy
  • Implicit Bias and Discrimination in Health
  • The Opioid Epidemic and Medication Assisted Treatment
  • Health Policy and Advocacy

Our Health Equity Pathway is led by Denver Health Hospitalist Ellen Sarcone, at


Research Pathway

Some residents have extensive research experience and know that research will be an integral component of their future careers. Many other residents are considering research as part of their career future, but may not have participated in significant research opportunities before residency or have a full understanding of the broad array of research opportunities available in medicine. In order to provide an overview of research options a resident could consider and to provide education in the basics of research, our research pathway curriculum includes a longitudinal didactic series that combines basic overviews of various research disciplines with “Meet the Professor” lectures of those faculty actively pursuing careers in these areas, and small group workshops discussing writing research abstracts and grant applications. When applicable, senior residents are also asked to present their projects to the group as “Resident Research Scholars”. Incorporated into this curriculum are fellowship preparation and career mentoring sessions, introduction to other aspects of medicine, including administrative leadership career paths, wellness programming, biopharmaceutical company start-up and management and careers in industry. Residents in the research pathway are paired with an appropriate mentor and complete one to two months of research as part of the program.

Our Research Pathway is led by Associate Program Director Lisa Davis, MD.

Contact Information

Medical Leaders Pathway
Department of Medicine
12631 E 17th Ave, B177
Academic Office One
8th floor, room 8411
Aurora, CO 80045

Phone: 720-848-7274​