PLUS: Pediatric Leaders Advancing Health Equity Program

“If you believe in health equity and are committed to justice in our health system and community, we are looking for you! Join us in this mission towards ensuring that all children are healthy and thriving!” ~ Raul Gutierrez, MD MPH 


PLUS was founded in 2004 as a national model for the integration of leadership development towards supporting community led efforts that address health equity. 


Exceptional pediatricians trained to advance health equity so that all children thrive, rooted in caring communities and supported by infrastructures of opportunity.


To train a diverse group of pediatric residents to lead advances in health equity for children.


Through purposeful leadership training integrated with their clinical training, PLUS residents will:

  • Become pediatricians with outstanding clinical skills who also recognize structural causes of health inequity and can effectively mobilize available resources to provide exceptional care for vulnerable populations of children

  • Develop a foundational skill set of leadership, communication, scholarship and advocacy skills to advance health equity

  • Learn to build inclusive collaborations with diverse people and organizations with a common goal of enhancing child health equity

  • Learn to design, implement, and evaluate interventions to improve child health equity

  • Develop a foundation of self-awareness with the goal to identify and leverage personal strengths and areas of growth to sustain a lifetime of leadership and collaborations







Leadership Practice Inventory Workshop 


Individualized Development Plans 



Grand Rounds (e.g. “The Origins of Black Poverty” with Dr. Zea Malawa) 


Conversation with Grand Rounds Speaker 


Adaptive Leadership 


Advocacy Event with Community Based Organization 

Project Legal Link: Providing Legal First Aid 

Effective Presentations & Storytelling 

Deep Dive: Financing low-income housing in the Bay Area 


Wellness activity Debriefing week, Reflections 

Project work OR clinic 

Project work OR clinic 

Project work 

Project work OR clinic 

Project work 

The PLUS curriculum runs over the three years with 6 weeks per year dedicated to PLUS.  At least one two-week block per year, PLUS residents across the three classes come for protected time together.  


PLUS residents are allocated seven weeks of protected time each year to participate in an intensive leadership curriculum. The PLUS curriculum also helps residents understand existing systems of health care delivery through a structural competency framework, and provides residents with tools for health systems innovation. PLUS provides residents with tools to assess their own leadership strengths and areas of growth and offers workshops and lectures to help develop these areas. PLUS residents have one overnight retreat in addition to the larger residency retreat.

Community-based Project

Over the course of their residency, PLUS residents partner with community organizations to participate in a project to help meet a critical community need. At the end of their residency, PLUS residents are expected to give a grand rounds presentation at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital to share their project.


Each PLUS resident is part of an advising pod, with a dedicated faculty advisor. Each pod consists of residents from each PLUS year, as well as PLUS alumni. Meet our mentors.

Individualized Development Plans

Each PLUS resident is asked to create and maintain an individualized learning plan. We revisit the IDPs throughout your three years with PLUS to ensure residents are strategically working to develop leadership and clinical skills.

The PLUS Community

Our residents, graduates and faculty consistently tell us that the best things about PLUS are the wonderful community and network. We have more than 50 graduates working all over the country — all over the world. They form a tight network of advocacy and support.

Partnership with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland

We are thrilled to be partnering with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. A small group of residents from BCHO are involved in the PLUS curriculum and UCSF PLUS residents are encouraged to do part of their clinical training in Oakland.

Trainees: Check out our current trainees

Alums: Learn more about our PLUS graduates

PLUS Program | How to Apply

The PLUS Program is a separate program within Pediatrics and has its own NRMP code for application: 1062320C3.

The PLUS program matches five residents per year. As you become more familiar with the UCSF Pediatric Residency Training Program during the application season, you may choose to add or delete the General Pediatrics Program or the PLUS program based on your training goals. Since the PLUS program has a significant overlap of core educational experiences with the General Pediatrics program, many applicants who are primarily interested in PLUS typically apply to both programs. 

Please note: PLUS Program applicants are required to submit a supplemental essay about their interest in the PLUS program.