Administrative Fellowship / Residency - Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Administrative Fellowship / Residency

Attention: We will not have a fellowship opportunity for 2017.


The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Administrative Training Program (formally referred to as the MEDVAMC Administrative Fellowship/Residency Program) is a component of the Department of Veterans Affairs Graduate Healthcare Administration Training Program (GHATP). The purpose of GHATP is to recruit, prepare and retain highly-qualified individuals to become future leaders in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

The MEDVAMC training provides an excellent opportunity to gain practical training within a large, integrated health care system. It is a one year appointment and includes comprehensive rotations throughout the various departments which offer valuable information and excellent opportunities for growth. The trainee will have an array of projects to heighten understanding of the diverse facets of healthcare operations and management. Access to executive meetings and committees is also unlimited. The trainee is considered part of the leadership team and under direction of the training preceptor which is the Medical Center Director. The program is highly flexible, tailored to the interests of the trainee, and requires great initiative and self-management. The success of the MEDVAMC training is unparalleled as 100% of trainees over the past 10+ years have been retained after their training. Many of these former trainees are currently in middle to senior management positions within the VHA.


All applicants must be US Citizens. VHA's Administrative Intern/Recent Graduates Program under the Graduate Healthcare Administration Training Program (GHATP) supplements the didactic component of health services administration graduate programs with opportunities for applying knowledge gained through coursework. Through this program, VA provides in-hospital experiences for students receiving, or having just received, their master's degree in health care administration (MHA), health services administration (MHSA), public health (MPH), public administration (MPA), or business administration (MBA).

There are two types of GHATP administrative training positions:

Interns – Graduate students who have completed the didactic portion of their accredited graduate program requiring practical experience for up to 12 months prior to receiving their degree. Must be a student, in an accredited qualifying Master's program.

Recent Graduates – Graduates who recently received their master's degree from an accredited qualifying program seeking advanced practical experience for up to 12 months. Must be about to graduate or have graduated with a Masters degree within the last 2 years; up to 6 years for Veterans.

To qualify, your master's program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), or the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Interns/Recent Graduates receive a salary, benefits, training, and travel. Upon successful completion of the training program, Interns/Recent Graduates may be eligible for placement into a position within the VA health care system. Preceptors work with Interns/Recent Graduates to find a position that best fits their skills, needs, and circumstances.

Application Requirements and Process

The application must include the following:

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Two-page personal statement discussing the type of training experience the candidate anticipates, specific expectations of the MEDVAMC, and career objectives following the program 
  • Technical writing sample or essay of which you are the sole author (please limit to 5 total pages)
  • Three letters of recommendation (one from graduate program director and two professional references) 
  • All official college transcripts (graduate and undergraduate)

All Applicants Must Apply Online at


Important Dates

We will not have a fellowship opportunity for 2016.

  • Application Deadline:                
  • Telephone/On-site Interviews:    
  • Selection Announcement Date:    
  • Fellowship/Residency Start Date: 

Preceptor/Senior Advisors

GHATP Board members consider the selection of the Preceptor as the most crucial factor toward ensuring a successful administrative training experience. The Preceptor must be a leader who has the education, experience and commitment to provide quality training. Specific criteria are established for the selection of Preceptors.

MEDVAMC Director, Adam C. Walmus, M.H.A., F.A.C.H.E., is the Preceptor to the trainee. The vital factor in the success of the training is his commitment to the role of counselor, evaluator, facilitator, and instructor in the developmental process. Mr. Walmus’ leadership skills and discipline are well recognized in both the workplace and healthcare community. He will assist the trainee in selecting projects and activities specific to individual need, growth, and interests, and strongly encourages and supports the participation of trainees in ACHE and other professional organizations.

The trainee will also closely collaborate with the various leaders of MEDVAMC. These individuals include the Senior Management team, service/care line executives, former GHATP trainees now in management positions, and all other medical center staff. Mentoring and education are core components of the training and embraced by senior leaders and managers.

Training Structure


The training consists of rotations and project assignments, although other components such as networking and meetings are equally important. The training is designed to develop and define leadership competencies. The High Performance Development Model is used to evaluate the trainee’s progress. This model consists of eight core competencies that serve as the platform for training, mentoring, and projects.

  • Organizational Stewardship
  • Systems Thinking
  • Creative Thinking
  • Flexibility/Adaptability
  • Customer Service
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness
  • Personal Mastery
  • Technical Skills


During the course of the 12-month program, the trainee’s rotation through service/care lines is designed to present a comprehensive overview of facility operations and the opportunity to engage in project work. Rotation areas include:


Finance Office
Quality Management
Diagnostic Referral Center
Education Service Line
Clinical Practice Office
Eye Care
Extended Care
Operative Care
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Care Line
Facilities Management
National Cemetery
Community Based Outpatient Clinics
Human Resources
Mental Health
Risk Management
Police Service
Credentialing and Privileging
Information Security
Medical Care Line
External Affairs
Public Affairs
Consumer Affairs
Spinal Cord Injury
Chief of Staff Office
Compensation and Pension
Emergency Preparedness
VA Regional Office
VA Central Office (Washington, D.C.)


The trainee will have the opportunity to manage multiple, diverse projects. Beyond projects, the trainee will also participate in assignments that address core competencies of leadership, management, and administrative development. Project work will involve many different hospital departments, divisions, and functions. This allows for experience in a sundry of areas including finance, operations, department administration, strategic planning, quality improvement, patient safety, physician relations, information systems, labor management relations, governance and policy, and human resources. In addition, seeking out and taking on projects of personal interest is also encouraged. All projects are reviewed and approved by the Preceptor to ensure that they are appropriate and fitting to the growth and interest of the trainee.


The trainee will meet regularly with the Preceptor to help discover areas of interest and focus. He/she is exposed to decision making, leadership, and governance at the most senior level of hospital operations. The trainee will attend daily executive morning and senior level meetings. In addition, they will be invited to a host of committee meetings. These meetings provide a broad perspective of clinical and administrative functions.

Networking Opportunities

  • Department of Veterans Affairs (Washington D. C.) – Trainee becomes familiar with Congressional and Veterans Health Administration policies and processes in addition to meeting GHATP trainees from other facilities.
  • ACHE Congress (Chicago) – This is a yearly conference that brings together healthcare leaders and is designed to learn about emerging issues and trends within the healthcare industry.
  • Texas Medical Center (TMC) Fellow Network – Trainees have the opportunity to network with fellows from the many other TMC hospitals. In addition, the trainee will be invited to spend time at neighboring facilities to tour and learn about their hospital operations.
  • GHATP Conference Calls – Monthly calls with GHATP trainees from other VA facilities are designed to disseminate information on projects and experiences. Trainees also discuss readings and literature relevant to surfacing trends or hot topics within the VA or healthcare industry.


The trainee will benefit from the culture and environment of MEDVAMC being an academic institution located in the Texas Medical Center (TMC). The TMC is the largest medical center in the world, consisting of 49 member institutions; it is home to many of the nation’s best hospitals, physicians, researchers, educational institutions, and health care providers. MEDVAMC’s teaching and research models foster a learning atmosphere rich in medical advancement, cutting edge technology, and collaborative partnerships with Baylor College of Medicine and other TMC facilities. The trainee will have a unique opportunity to tour and observe the operations of neighboring facilities such as Baylor College of Medicine, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas Health Science Center, The Methodist Hospital, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, Memorial-Hermann Hospital, Shriners Hospital for Children, and Harris County Hospital District.

Contact Information

To request more information regarding the MEDVAMC Administrative Training Program, please contact the Administrative Intern/Recent Graduate. Questions and inquiries may be emailed to

Helpful Links:

Veterans Health Administration

MEDVAMC Management

Southeast Texas Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) 

Department of Veterans Affairs 

Texas Medical Center *

Baylor College of Medicine *