Dr. Paul Ambrose Health Policy Program

The Dr. Paul Ambrose Health Policy Program was established in 2010 as part of a larger effort at Marshall University to involve and inform its health care faculty and students as well as the community in health care policy.

In addition to an annual forum, Marshall offers the nation’s only health policy program integrated into a three-year residency in family medicine. Residents in this track have the opportunity to experience the intricacies of health policy development, implementation and oversight. Participants observe and partake in the legislative process and become involved in health administrative agencies. They work directly with legislators and their staff, attend a National Health Policy Conference, survey state agencies with administrative responsibilities in the health care field and conduct research on a broad range of health care access and affordability issues.

This program helps family medicine residents develop leadership and interest in health policy with an emphasis on rural issues. The program includes providing educational forums, activities during the legislative session and opportunities to attend state/national conferences.

Now more than ever, we need skilled physicians working for their patients in both the exam room and the halls of the legislature.  Just as patients need their primary care physician fighting on their behalf with insurance companies, they also need us as their representatives in the legislative process to ensure that the conversation is intensely patient-focused and primary care centric. No one is more qualified to serve in this role than passionate primary care physicians.

This track is flexible, allowing residents to pursue their areas of passion within Health Policy.  We leverage resources and connections with national family medicine leadership, the national and state legislatures, public health officials, state and local public health departments, WV Medicaid, among others, to help participants pursue their interest in health policy. The option to pursue a Master of Public Health during residency is also available.  

While this program gives ample opportunities to pursue policy interests at the local, state or national level, we first train residents to be well-rounded, competent and caring family medicine physicians. 

Acceptance is competitive and based on interviews with the health policy faculty. 

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Paul W. Ambrose, MD

The Dr. Paul Ambrose Health Policy Program is named in honor of the late Paul Ambrose, MD. Dr. Ambrose had a notable passion for public health and policy. A 1995 graduate of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Dr. Ambrose was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

After completing his family medicine residency at Dartmouth University, and earning a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University, Dr. Ambrose landed the competitive Luther Terry Fellowship from the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine, which gave him the opportunity to work in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ambrose was working to improve our nation’s health in the fight against obesity before his death.