Monday, June 22, 2020

Guest Post: Advance Family Medicine with Practice-Based Research

- Jen Carroll, Director AAFP National Research Network and Christina Hester, Research Director AAFP National Research Network
The program name is lengthy: the Family Medicine Discovers Rapid Cycle Scientific Discovery and Innovation Initiative, also known as FMD RapSDI. The program goal is concise: Help family physicians research and scale great ideas, quickly.

“This is a groundbreaking opportunity for family physicians on Main Street to explore the phenomenal ideas they have that will bring about change,” says Richard Smith Jr., an AAFP Foundation Board of Trustee and co-chair of the FMD RapSDI Work Group. “The healthcare system is fraught with barriers to innovation. This approach helps mitigate that.”

As a collaboration between the AAFP Foundation and the AAFP National Research Network, FMD RapSDI is open to family physicians whether they have research backgrounds or not. By providing the infrastructure and resources needed, the FMD RapSDI awards empower the physicians to explore small projects that can yield results in a 12-month timeframe.

What does Family Medicine Discovers offer to scholars?
Selected scholars are awarded a monetary grant to cover costs associated with completing their research projects and/or to offset a portion of the scholar’s salary (up to 20% FTE) to develop and complete a project in 12 months. The AAFP National Research Network will provide scholars with research infrastructure to empower scholars to successfully develop and implement their research projects and to stimulate their professional development. FMD RapSDI Scholars will begin projects on June 1, 2021.
In its inaugural year, Family Medicine Discovers received 45 research proposals from 40 different physicians and ultimately, two projects were awarded. The scholars selected for the inaugural program and their topics are:

Dr. Vijay Singh, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, will use evidence-based family medicine interventions, proven successful with adolescents, to help identify men with anger issues and provide relevant services. “I was interested in applying to be a FMD RapSDI scholar to access program resources to complete a research project, with salary support and dedicated time to adapt an evidence-based male intimate partner violence intervention to the needs of family medicine patients and providers," said Dr. Singh.

Dr. Lauren Ciszak, a family physician with the South End Community Health Center in Boston, will research the impact of providing meal kits and nutritional education to patients with chronic diseases, rather than ready to heat/eat meals, the standard approach.m“I hope we get strong enough evidence to convince insurance companies to cover this,” said Dr. Ciszak. “If this was covered, it could open so many doors for us and help our patients live better.”

This investment in building a robust family medicine research infrastructure will advance knowledge and discovery in our specialty; it will also prepare our specialty for the transformation needed to deliver upon the Quadruple Aim. FMD RapSDI has exceptional potential to advance new evidence and knowledge while fostering a culture shift of what it means to participate in family medicine research.

Do you have a patient care-inspired question, clinical problem, or clinical conundrum you'd like to investigate? Apply to be an FMD RapSDI Scholar! The application period for FMD RapSDI will open July 1st, 2020 and run through August 23rd, 2020. During the open period, the application portal will be accessible here.
Please spread the word about this program, and/or consider applying yourself!
For more information, please visit the FMD RapSDI website or contact us at