OverviewThe Denver Health Physician Assistant Post-graduate Fellowship in Behavioral Health will provide an intense, well-rounded, 12 months of clinical and didactic training to facilitate a successful career as a behavioral health physician assistant. Fellows will engage in core training in behavioral health to achieve the fellowship’s mission to develop physician assistants with expertise in the clinic care of patients with psychiatric and substance use disorders. Upon completion of this program, PA fellows will have the knowledge and skills necessary to make them successful practitioners of behavioral health in a variety of clinical settings, and will be prepared to apply for the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) Psychiatry Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ).
Curriculum Experience & Objectives
Inter-professional faculty designed an evidence-based curriculum for physician assistants who successfully complete an accredited physician assistant program. Behavioral health PA fellows will rotate through four core training areas, for three months in each rotation. A longitudinal, outpatient rotation will also be offered through the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus to further build long term medication management and therapy skills. Behavioral Health PA Fellows will be responsible for transportation to the University of Colorado Medical Center in Aurora, CO, one half day per week for this experience. At the conclusion of each rotation, PA fellows should be able to:
Inpatient Psychiatry (Child/Adolescent, Adult Inpatient, Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison, Addiction Consults)
|Psychiatric emergency services||
|Outpatient behavioral health||
In addition to rotational experience, PA fellows will engage in a Didactic Curriculum including weekly lectures on psychiatric topics, journal club, faculty meetings, and grand rounds. Fellows will also have one half-day per week dedicated to developing an academic project related to advocacy, community engagement, quality improvement, or scholarly work.
- The program has the following start dates: Sept. 1, Dec. 1, March 1, and June 1. Application deadlines are four months prior to the start date.
- A DEA license must be obtained within the first 90 days of starting in the program.
Requirements & Eligibility
Criteria for admission include demonstration of empathy, compassion, and excellence in medicine. The fellowship values a diverse workforce. A competitive application process selects physician assistants based on the following:
- Graduation from a PA program approved by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)
- Colorado PA licensure or eligibility
- Official transcripts from the PA program
- Current Curriculum Vitae
- Three professional letters of recommendation
- Personal interview (please note, we ask that all applicants have passed the PANCE prior to interview)
- Maximum class size of 4 fellows per year
- Stipend $60,000 for the one-year program
- To start the application process, please apply here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What types of jobs have graduates done after the fellowship?
- We are proud to report that all graduates have obtained behavioral health jobs prior to graduating the fellowship. Postgraduate jobs include outpatient substance treatment programs, private practice child/adolescent psychiatry, outpatient integrated behavioral health, correctional behavioral health, and emergency psychiatric services. Employment opportunities may be available at Denver Health after graduation. Of the graduates who have taken the NCCPA Psychiatry CAQ, all have passed on the first attempt.
2. What benefits are offered during the fellowship?
- All PA fellows are hired as Denver Health employees and are offered employee benefits including paid holidays, 20 days of PTO, medical and dental insurance, 401(a), long-term and short-term disability benefits, $2500 CME/education funds, along with additional benefits. Please see for full list of benefits.
3. How many fellows are selected each cycle?
- Currently, we select 1 fellow per cycle for a total of 4 fellows per year.
4. If I am not selected in the current cycle, can I re-apply?
- Yes! Competitive applicants will be invited to re-apply for the next cycle.
5. Can I talk to a current fellow or program graduate to learn more about their experience?
- Yes, please contact BHPAFellowship@dhha.org to connect to a current fellow or past graduate.
6. Can I work another job during the fellowship?
- We expect fellows to participate in all clinical and didactic experiences to successfully complete the program. Clinical experience averages 40 hours per week and includes some night and weekend shifts that may interfere with other work. Fellows should also expect after-hour studying and reading to prepare for clinical and didactic work.
Kenneth Novoa, MD
Michelle Gaffaney, PA-C
Fellowship Administrative Support