More than Just a Program

UT Health has developed a new track opportunity called the Health Systems Science Distinction Track. It is a healthcare leadership and quality track, designed to inspire and educate trainees in the field of Health Systems Science (HSS), specifically in leadership, quality improvement, patient safety, teamwork, inter-professional education, professionalism, and scholarship. Created for residents and fellows with aspirations to become health system leaders, this program is designed to help turn those aspirations into a reality.  This is a 2-year program:  Year 1 consists of in-depth study and small group planning.  During Year 2 participants will complete a project is small groups to include publication and / or presentation at appropriate national meetings.

Group sitting around a table with laptops


Learn about the ins and outs of Health System Science and the principles, methods and practice of healthcare delivery. 

Patient speaking to doctor in white coat

Patient Care

Adapt from modules that will give you an inside look on value-based care, quality improvement and professionalism. 

Student presenting research poster to others


Discover a subject/topic that you find a passion for and generate a self study research project you will present on!

Program Objectives

  • Develop leaders who apply systems thinking principles to accelerate change in education and health care delivery by conceptualizing complex challenges in health care and applying innovative solutions.
  • Develop a cadre of clinician-scholars prepared to lead improvement efforts in the health system.

Program Provides

  • GME level Certificate for Health Systems Science upon successful completion
  • Leadership Professional Development
  • Education in HSS concepts through activities, coaching, and modules (e.g., AMA HSS modules)
  • Participants will engage with peers and inter-professional leaders in HSS who will serve as mentors
  • Opportunity to educate and engage peers through teaching during prime didactic sessions (e.g. M&M, QI didactics facilitation, MS3 HSS lectures? etc..)


Residents and fellows with a demonstrated commitment to health system science and an interest in leadership, quality, safety, technology and innovation. Applications will be open to all residents and fellows with at least 2 years remaining in training at UTHSCSA.  Course size will be limited.

Program Overview

Through the program, the trainee will:

  • Become an agent of change with increased confidence to understand, analyze, and solve problems
  • Breakthrough challenges to achieve your goals with more clarity, efficiency, and less conflict
  • Learn how to work better in teams, leverage the unique strengths of team members, and inspire and motivate the team members to achieve your common goals
  • Take advantage of peer networking with other trainees

Time Commitment

During the First Year, trainees are required to complete asynchronous online learning assignments and attend a total of 10 didactic sessions of 60-90 minutes over 1 year. The sessions will be led by health system leaders in their area of expertise and scheduled among the participants to maximize ability to attend. Didactic sessions focus on quality, safety, advocacy, hospital finance, and multiple other domains all built on a foundation to help cultivate leadership skills. 

During the second year, participants will work in small groups or individually to complete a project of their choice in any domain of HSS. Mentorship based on project selection will be provided, and scholarship opportunities will be encouraged. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to the program development and improvement of this distinction track for the future.

HSS Leadership Projects

HSS scholars will take part in a self-guided longitudinal HSS leadership project during the program and in a smaller group project. The expectation is that participants will submit their HSS scholarship to a local or national conference depending on the topic (e.g., ACP, SHM, IHI, specialty meetings).

Current ongoing projects are encouraged if they fit under one of the HSS topics. Sample  topics include:

  • Health Care Structures and Processes
  • Health Care Policy/Economics
  • Clinical Informatics/HIT
  • Public Health/Population Health
  • Value-Based Care
  • Patient Safety
  • Quality Improvement
  • Leadership and Change Agency
  • Teamwork and Inter-professional Care
  • Systems Thinking

Application Requirements

Residents interested in participating in the program should submit the following documents as part of the application process to the HSS Action Committee within the Office of GME.  See the link to the application below.

  1. Letter of Interest with responses to the following:
    1. How do you see yourself in a leadership role? Why are YOU the candidate for this program?
    2. How will participating in the Health Systems Science Distinction Track contribute to your professional goals?
  2. Brief summary of experience in Quality Improvement, Patient Safety, and / or Leadership Positions
  3. Updated Curriculum Vitae

Want to view what you would be learning?

Check out the modules below!