Department of

Public Health Seminars:


Dena Cherry-Brown – Communicable Disease|| Ta Misha Bascombe – Emergency Response and Preparedness|| Sarah Birckhead – Tobacco Cessation



fmSTAT logo
Suzanne and Erin - graduation
group picture of fmScholars

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.

Maymont Retreat

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. 

Animated infographic that describes the fmSTAT curriculum 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 IMG_2054 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...

Program Faculty

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.

headshot of Judy Gary 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.


headshot of Carolyn Peel Carolyn Peel, MD,

Assistant Professor

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:Page Memorial Health 023

  • 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

Group shot of 2016 fmScholars

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

Shaheen "Sha" Ali
VCU Psychiatry Residency, VA

New Hampshire Virginia New York North Carolina Illinois Wisconsin Colorado California Washington Texas


Yeri Park - Profile Image

Yeri, Class of 2017

University of California - San Diego


Alfred - Profile Image

Alfred, Class of 2018

University of California - San Diego


Alexandra "Lex" - Profile Image

Alexandra "Lex", Class of 2018

UC Berkeley

Public Health, Global Poverty and Practice 

Michael, Class of 2020

University of Virginia


Rochelle, Class of 2019

UC Irvine


Paula, Class of 2020


Molecular Biology



Justin Riederer - Profile Image

Justin, Class of 2020

University of Wisconsin - Madison




Adam Sadik - profile image

Adam, Class of 2017

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Molecular and Cellular Biology, English Literature


New Hampshire

Margeret Maggie - Profile Image

Margaret "Maggie", Class of 2018

Middlebury College

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry



New York

Michelle Baer - Profile Image

Michelle, Class of 2019

Cornell University: Human Biology, Health & Society

Columbia University: Metabolic Biology & Human Nutrition


North Carolina

Rachael - Profile Image

Rachael, Class of 2017

Occidental College


Zach McRae - Profile Image

Zachary "Zach", Class of 2018

North Carolina State University

Human Biology and Genetics

Kathryn in winter coat

Kathryn, Class of 2019

Columbia University: Political Science

New York Medical College: Master of Science degree

Eli Hammer - Profile Image

Eli, Class of 2019

University of North Carolina at Greensboro



Stephen, Class of 2020

Union University





Grant, Class of 2017

Texas A&M University

Civil Engineering


Andrew, Class of 2017

University of Richmond

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Erica, Class of 2017

University of Richmond


Sydney, Class of 2018

Old Dominion University


David, Class of 2019

James Madison University: B.S. Biology and B.A. Spanish

Universidad de Alcala de Henares: Bilingual & Multicultural Education 

Danielle, Class of 2020

Virginia Commonwealth University


Ifechukwude "Iffie", Class of 2019

Cornell University

Hannah, Class of 2020

Washington and Lee University



Laura, Class of 2019

Gonzaga University

Biology and Psychology 

Soumya, Class of 2020

Occidental College

Cognitive Science


Patrick Ufkes

Patrick, Class of 2020

University of Washington

Economics, Biology


Mitchell Hustad - Profile Image

Mitchell, Class of 2019

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Chemistry with Business Emphasis

Molly, Class of 2020

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Pharmacology and Toxicology


For more information regarding fmSTAT, contact:

Judy Gary, M.Ed.

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!