Leadership Training Academy



Physicians for Reproductive Health Leadership Training Academy: Advancing Physician Leaders in Reproductive Health Care Advocacy

The Physicians for Reproductive Health Leadership Training Academy prepares physicians to become lifelong leaders in reproductive health care advocacy by helping them develop and internalize the skills and attributes they need to be powerful, effective advocates for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care.

New applications available now for Class of 2018.

Space is limited. EXTENDED deadline for applications is Friday, June 9, 2017.


Academy MissionDSC_6648

Physicians for Reproductive Health founded the Leadership Training Academy to foster future generations of self-directed physician leaders who will work throughout their careers to protect and advance comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care. Physicians for Reproductive Health have been helping doctors become physician-advocates since 1992. Our Leadership Training program, which began in 2003, has graduated thirteen cohorts of doctors equipped to advance sexual and reproductive health care in their home institutions and beyond.

Program Information

The Leadership Training Academy Class of 2018 will include 40 physicians from around the country and across specialties who share a desire to advance access to abortion care and contraception and improve reproductive health services for women, families, and communities. The Academy offers skills-building workshops, hands-on advocacy experiences, and networking opportunities that will provide promising physician leaders with guidance and resources for professional and personal leadership development. This class will mark the 14 year of Physicians for Reproductive Health Leadership Training programs.

The program is designed to cultivate and support physicians in their efforts to become self-directed, effective advocates for sexual and reproductive health care via firsthand advocacy experience…Visits with lawmakers in state capitals and Washington, DC…In-person sessions and webinars…Opportunities to improve medical education and share best practices in reproductive and sexual health care with peers…On-camera media trainings…Chances to educate the public about abortion, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, and other aspects of sexual and reproductive health…Collaboration with physicians around the country and across specialties…Opportunities to build and strengthen coalitions between organizations…Guidance from experts in medicine, advocacy, leadership, and communications

CME credits via the American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award Category 1 Credits will be earned upon completion of the Academy program.

During the nine-month program (October 2017 – June 2018), Academy Fellows will be required to:

  • Participate in three in-person trainings :
    • Sunday evening, October 22 – Thursday, October 26, 2017 in Washington, DC
    • Monday evening, February 26– Friday, March 2, 2018 in New York, NY
    • Thursday, May 31, 2018, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Participate in six 90-minute webinars which focus on the historical struggle to expand reproductive health care in the United States, and present policy and physician experts on current issues affecting reproductive health service integration and delivery.
  • Participate throughout the year in advocacy activities facilitated by Physicians for Reproductive Health or coalition partners in media, communications, policy, and medical education

Eligibility and Selection Process

The Academy program is open to practicing physicians of any specialty who have completed a residency, with priority consideration for those who:

  • Are ready and willing to be vocal and visible advocates for abortion
  • Practice in least-access states, regions with extreme shortages of abortion providers as well as hostile policy environments towards abortion and reproductive health.
  • Bring the perspectives and experience of individuals underrepresented within medicine, especially physicians of color and LGBTQ-identified physicians.
  • Practice in medical specialties underrepresented within the reproductive health, rights and justice communities.

Space in the Leadership Training Academy is limited.

Applications will be reviewed in the order received.

Participation Expenses

Participation expenses for the Academy include travel, lodging, and meal expenses as well as a $500 registration fee.

A categorical grant will cover these expenses for up to thirty (30) participants. A limited number of scholarships will also be available.  Admission and funding decisions will be made after the initial application and interview process, and therefore ALL applicants should consider that they may be asked to cover their own participation expenses. If these costs would create a barrier to participation, we encourage applicants to apply for scholarship support.

Application Requirements

To be considered as a candidate for acceptance in the Leadership Training Academy, you must provide:

  • Completed on-line application
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Two (2) letters of reference

The letters should speak to the applicant’s leadership skills, work ethic, and commitment to the advancement of comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care.

Submission Details

The online application can be accessed here. All application forms must be submitted electronically.

Please note: You must have Adobe Reader installed on your computer in order to complete the PDF application. (If you do not have it installed, you can download it for free at get.adobe.com/reader.) Do not use Preview and do not complete use GoogleDocs. We recommend saving the PDF application to your desktop, completing it, and then submitting it using the “submit” button in the upper right hand corner. 

CV and letters of recommendation can be in Word or PDF formats and must be saved as follows:

  • Last Name_First Name CV
  • Last Name_First Name recommendation

EXTENDED deadline for applications is Friday, June 9, 2017.

Once completed applications are received, applicants will be contacted for a phone interview.

All materials must be submitted to Libby Benedict at libby@prh.org.

Important Dates

  1. Deadline for applications is Friday, June 9, 2017.
  2. Applicants will be informed of the status of their application via email no later than July 21, 2017.
  3. First in-person training begins Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  4. Program ends with a final Commencement webinar tentatively scheduled for early June, 2018.

For more information, or questions, please contact:

Libby Benedict, Director, Leadership Training Academy
Physicians for Reproductive Health
Cell: 415.990.6502
Email: libby@prh.org






Related Posts:

On the Supreme Court Steps, Our Doctors Are Proud Abortion Providers

Doctors at the Supreme Court RallyToday, during the oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, hundreds of reproductive rights supporters rallied on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States. As our colleagues at the Center for Reproductive Rights argued the case inside, speakers from all backgrounds–elected officials, college students, reproductive justice advocates, spiritual leaders, and abortion providers–stood up and said: Stop the sham. 

As our Reproductive Health Advocacy Fellow Dr. Pratima Gupta said: “When we stand against these sham laws we are standing up for women who have the least access to care, who face the most discrimination, and who are least likely to be able to travel to the only open clinic that may now be hundreds of miles away. We need to ensure that ALL women, no matter their zip code, have access to the care they need and deserve.”

You can watch the entire rally, which features speeches from Dr. Gupta, our board chair-elect Dr. Willie Parker, and Leadership Training Academy alums Dr. Sara Imershein and Dr. Bhavik Kumar, on YouTube.

Finally, we would like to share a wonderful video that was submitted as part of our “Why I Provide/Why I Support” project by Vanessa Cullins, MD, MPH, MBA, who is Vice President for External Medical Affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In this beautiful video, she talks about why she provided abortions as a physician and why she supports all abortion providers and all women who seek abortion care. Please watch it and share with friends and loved ones.

If you’re feeling inspired, please send us your own video. Read more about the project here

On the 43rd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Our Doctors #ReclaimRoe

Antonella LavelanetForty-three years ago, the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the United States in its landmark decision on Roe v. Wade. In the current political climate, there is reason to celebrate another year with legal abortion as the law of the land. But there is no doubt that millions of women cannot exercise this constitutional right without overcoming significant barriers.

Physicians for Reproductive Health is doing everything we can to #ReclaimRoe, making the promise of Roe v. Wade a reality for every single woman in America. As part of today's anniversary, we are pleased to feature a piece by current Leadership Training Academy fellow, Antonella Lavelanet, DO, JD.

Late in 2015, a United Nations Working Group traveled to the United States to assess the state of U.S. women’s human rights, including the ability to access comprehensive reproductive health care. As a self-proclaimed world leader devoted to medical and scientific advancement, one might expect that the U.S. leads the pack in terms of protecting the health of its citizens. And yet, what the UN group found instead were core failures to advance women’s standing in society. In its initial report, the group’s human rights experts pointed out that paid maternity leave is not universal in our country, that U.S. policy- and law-making bodies lack adequate representation of women and their needs, and that the full spectrum of reproductive health care services is not accessible to many women.

As an obstetrician/gynecologist specializing in family planning, these findings come as no surprise to me. Continue reading Dr. Lavelanet's piece >>

Testimony of Margaux Lazarin, DO, MPH, Before the New York City Council, October 27, 2015

“I am pleased to see the City Council taking steps to implement reporting and tracking systems to make sure that each student receives appropriate sexual health education. I am also here to thank the Council for the opportunity to discuss this topic and encourage the Council to go further to ensure quality sexuality education in New York.”


Our New Video: “Why I Provide”

This spring, we undertook the mission of adding a new chapter to our wildly popular publication, Why I Provide, which was originally published in 2004. For this update, we teamed up with producer/director Linda Porto to film five physicians in our network as they spoke about their lives, their careers, and their motivations: Dr. Jennifer Amico, Dr. Bhavik Kumar, Dr. Gillian Dean, Reproductive Health Advocacy Fellow Dr. Kathleen Morrell, and board member Dr. Willie Parker.

This five-minute video highlights why each of them considers it an honor and a privilege to be an abortion provider and continue this vital work, despite mounting restrictions and threats to their safety. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.