I’m a 4th year med student currently spending the year at the NIH as an HHMI Research Scholar. It would be wonderful if I could do research as a resident, and so the FARM program is particularly appealing. I saw the one page description at
1) How do the ‘pathways’ works? Do you pick 18 vs 21 vs 30 months, or is there another mechanism?
The resident chooses (under counsel of the faculty mentor) the plan that is most likely going to yield the goal established for you. For example, a FARM fellow who already has a phD and is aiming for a K award will likely have different pathway than the FARM fellow interested in clinical research with no prior formal training.
2) The table also mentions 80% Research as ‘instructor.’Is this time spent as junior faculty per the website description?
Yes. Most foundation or federal grants nowadays require 20% clinical work during the funding period so our 20% clinic requirement is consitent with what the FARM fellow will experience in the future. Think of the year or two after residency as a research intensive fellowship period with an Instructor appointment to the Faculty.
Is there teaching involved or is this committed research time?
The 80% is committed research time. Any teaching would likly occur in the 20% the person is doing clinical work with residents.
3) To clarify the total length of the program: PGY-1, CA-1, CA-2, CA-3, junior faculty year (1-2 years) –> total 5-6 years? And FAER would extend that time, correct?
It is all quite flexible, customizable to the needs of FARM fellow. The longer one is in FARM fellowship after residency and in a research dedicated mode the more one can get done and develop one’s CV for the next step in faculty line as assistant professor appointment.
4) regarding application, would I apply to match into the FARM program directly as a new med school grad, or is this decision made later? (after matriculating into the CA-1 year)?
Any resident that matches with us can do FARM if they choose to.
5) Is the program competitive? Or open to all interested residents?
It is open to all interested residents.
6) Mentorship has been identified as a major drawback to academic anesthesiology. Is there a mechanism in place for mentorship?
Great point! We have found this to be the most crucial element, and we have found that identifying this person begins as soon as the person matches here. One of our 2010 FARM fellows was here just last week visiting faculty even though he doesnt start anesthesia till 2010.
7) Do you have a sense on how grads of this program fair in subsequent academic appointments and NIH grants?
Another great question. To be determined. Our first FARM cohort is a CA2 now. I know for sure that having FARM we are getting better research career candidates in our applicant pool, and in the pipeline for future faculty apppointment. Because the FARM program has only been in existence for 4-5 yrs the longer term outcome is unknown right now. Even if FARM fellows dont ultimately get RO1 grants we believe the residency is richer because the of the academic work they do as residents.