The Family Medicine Scholars Training and Admission Track (fmSTAT) is a unique program with two components:
1. The dual admissions process is designed to identify and select individuals who come to medical school intending to be family physicians
2. The four-year curricular track provides participants with tailored experiences that nurture, develop, and support this select group of medical students toward their family medicine career goal.
Preferential placement with specially chosen family physician teachers
Interaction with like-minded and committed peers for selected experiences
1:1 family physician mentor throughout the four-year experience
Core family medicine content through semi-annual retreat and seminar sessions
Optional summer learning experience between first and second year
Eligibility for support to participate in state and national level conferences
Considered for Family Medicine scholarships
fmScholars' designation in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (Dean's) letter
A departmental letter of recommendation for residency upon request
Successful completion of general School of Medicine requirements
Attend annual required fmSTAT learning activities
Engage in a scholarly project and present it in 4th year
Complete a family medicine acting internship and a 4th year advance family medicine elective
Apply to match in a Family Medicine residency
fmSTAT is a dual admission program to the VCU School of Medicine. The admissions component of fmSTAT is designed to identify and select individuals who are committed to a career in family medicine upon matriculation.
Sydney's Admissions Experience
Applying to fmSTAT
The opportunity to apply to fmSTAT is automatically extended to a select group of VCU School of Medicine applicants during the supplemental application process.
Those who receive offers, and wish to apply, complete the online fmSTAT application. The School of Medicine and fmSTAT applications are reviewed by family physicians who participate in the admissions process.
If recommended, the fmSTAT Educational Director will call applicants with an invitation to interview. In addition to the standard School of Medicine interviews, fmSTAT candidates, attend an information session to learn more about the program and a separate one-on-one 30 minute interview regarding their family medicine interest. The information session and fmSTAT interview occur either on the same day at the School of Medicine interviews or the prior afternoon.
fmSTAT emulates the School of Medicine process with rolling admissions and offer dates. 8-10 fmScholars are selected each academic year from those accepted to VCU School of Medicine.
The scholars' training component of fmSTAT is a 4 year longitudinal program designed to explore key concepts "through a family medicine lens" with personal values and core values of the specialty of family medicine in mind. This is accomplished in part by required participation in two seminars and two retreats each academic year. Learning activities are designed to be engaging (e.g. panels, debates, group work, etc.) and relevant. Each session includes good food, enthusiastic faculty, and time to connect with other fmScholars. Foundational to fmSTAT is having seminars and retreats with fellow fmScholars at all levels of training.
Curricular themes rotate annually to ensure exposure to all material over the course of four years.
Retreats are weekend activities held off campus once each semester. The fall retreat includes an overnight stay; the spring retreat is a day-long event. These events enable participants to "dig deeper" into the core content, provide time for meaningful connection with other fmScholars through team building and casual social time together.
Participation in one dinner seminar each semester, each year is also required. Topics focus on the the particular year’s curricular theme. Seminars are typically preceeded by an optional social where fmScholars can socialize and share their current experiences.
"I think the dinner was an important opportunity for all of the classes to catch up with each other as well as to see to members of classes above/below. It was cool to get everyone together in an informal setting like that, especially in the middle of the year, and just to see how much the program has grown over the past 4 years. I've done a lot of traveling here recently and I am floored by people I meet on the [interviewing] trail who come from schools that don't even have a family clerkship! fmSTAT has been a total game changer and re-centering program for me over the past 4 years and for sure one of the reasons I'm pumped for a FM career." - Suzanne, 2016 Class
Mentorship is a cornerstone of fmSTAT. Each fmScholar is paired with a family physician whose role is to support and nuture the student through through medical school. Mentors are very carefully selected and oriented to the program structure and expectations. The "matching" of fmScholars to mentors is based on getting to know students through the fmSTAT interview process and a pre-matriculation survey. Mentors and mentees meet each other during the first weeks
of medical school with the intent of developing a relationship over the course of training.
While there are some optional ocassions for groups, the mentorship is designed as a 1:1 relationship initiated by mentor and student with the support of the program directors. Meet Marley and her mentor, Dr. Eddy.
fmScholars are supported in many ways...
fmSTAT Co-directors provide ongoing support for participants. With input from other faculty and fmScholars, they develop the curriculum, plan and evaluate all program events and hand-select mentors and preceptors to work with each enrollee.
Judy Gary, MEd, Assistant Professor
Judy has been a medical educator in the VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population Health for nearly 25 years. She focuses on the teaching and development needs of students and faculty. She advises the family medicine interest group, recruits and develops faculty, serves as Assistant Director for Medical Education in the department and provides educational expertise for the fmSTAT program.
Carolyn Peel, MD,
Carolyn is a family physician. She has been a clinician educator for 17 years in the VCU Department of Family Medicine. She serves as the Director of the VCU Nelson Family Medicine Clinic and as Chair of the VCU School of Medicine Admissions Committee. Among other responsibilities, she advises students and provides clinical expertise for the fmSTAT program.
Steve Crossman, MD
Associate Professor, Vice Chair
Steve Crossman, MD, Vice Chair, is a family physician. Among his many responsibilities, Dr. Crossman also serves as the H.E.A.R.T. group leader for all fmScholars. As such he is the designated academic advisor for all fmScholars unless a student chooses another or additional advisor later in training. In this role, he provides ongoing guidance regarding academic and professional development.
Family Physician Preceptors
The Department of Family Medicine and Population Health involves nearly 200 family physicians across the Commonwealth of Virginia to help train VCU medical students. Since its founding in 1970, the department has intentionally selected community family physicians (preceptors) -- many who are alumni, to serve as teachers and role models allowing students to experience family medicine where it is practiced most often. As a benefit of the fmSTAT program, fmScholars are preferentially placed with preceptors with the students' particular interests and needs in mind for all of their clinical experiences.
Each fmScholar has a specifically selected family physician mentor who supports his/her scholars' personal and professional development. Though many mentors teach medical students, care is taken to avoid having a mentor directly teach or evaluate his or her mentee. See Mentorship section for more information.
The greatest benefit of fmSTAT is the community of students who share similar goals. fmScholars have a variety of personal interests and envision doing a myriad or combination of things, but all aspire to be family physicians taking care of individuals, families and communities!
Our fmScholar's career interests:
Be a community leader and active advocate of public and preventative health
Work in a progressive and comprehensive patient-centered clinic
Live and work in a rural community
Concentrate on global health
Focus on sports medicine
Serve military families
Join a suburban group practice with a focus on adolescents and women
Work with low income families, underserved care, refugees, underserved minorities, recent immigrants
Provide women's health & FM/OB care
Be a medical educator/work in academics
Provide chronic disease and geriatric care
Practice in an outpatient setting
Start a direct primary care practice
Be a medical director/physician at a community health center
Our 2016 fmScholar Graduates
Andaleeb Rahman VCU Fairfax Family Medicine Residency, VA
Suzanne Giunta Swedish Medical Center, Family Medicine, WA
Sheerin Habibullah Columbia Presbyterian Family Medicine Residency, NY
Erin McLaughlin Valley Medical Center, Family Medicine, WA
Mailing Address VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population health P.O. Box 980-251 Richmond, VA 23298-0251
Office Location West Hospital, 14th Floor, North Wing, 14-103 1200 East Broad Street Richmond, VA 23298-0251
While fmSTAT is beneficial to its students, its influence reaches further. As Dr. Jerome Strauss, Dean of the VCU School of Medicine, said, "The fmSTAT program reflects the innovative thinking of our faculty and the School of Medicine's strong commitment to meeting the primary care workforce needs of Virginia and the Nation."
Gifts to the fmSTAT Scholarship fund will build an endowment to provide future fmScholars the equivalent of one year’s tuition disbursed in a manner to both attract and retain students who will become family physicians. Click to Donate!