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. 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.
“Domestic violence is a silent killer in our community,” says Smith. “This project takes what we know works and focuses on the perpetrator. It could have a profound effect on the family going forward, and no one else is doing it.”
• 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.
“How wonderful to take an evidence-based approach and say, ‘Let’s not just give you food. Let’s teach you how to make good food, and you’ll be able to go home and teach others in your family,’” says Smith. “That brings sustainable, systemic change.”
The 2021 FMD RapSDI application period opens July 1.