Samira Farouk, MD, MS, FASN
Samira Farouk, MD, MS, FASN
2020 William and Sandra Bennett Clinical Scholars Grant Recipient
Provide a brief overview of the research/project you will conduct with help from the grant.
This project is designed to the study the impact of NephSIM, a mobile-optimized, simulation- based nephrology teaching tool, on medical student education. We will implement NephSIM into an existing medical student nephrology pathophysiology course and assess outcomes including attitudes towards using the teaching tool, knowledge retention, and interest in nephrology as a career choice. My long-term goal is to apply outcomes and lessons learned from this Bennett Clinical Scholars Grant to internal medicine resident and nephrology fellow education. Just as it is important to study the effectiveness of new medications in the clinic, I believe it is essential to understand the impact of new educational tools on educators and learners.
What inspired you to focus your work in this area?
Since my time as an intern, I've always had a passion for teaching. This interest grew significantly during my nephrology fellowship training and even more so after I joined the Nephrology Social Media Collective and learned about free, open access medical education (FOAMed) tools. I was able to see first-hand how education can globally impact the entire medical community, particularly after co-creating NephSIM with Dr. Rachel Hilburg. Since then, I have become increasingly interested in studying these tools and their impact on both educators and learners so that they can ultimately be further developed and improved. As FOAMed tools like NephSIM are readily available for all to use on their computer or mobile devices, these research questions are now of even greater importance in the new socially-distanced learning environment of COVID-19.
What are your career goals at the end of the grant period? Five years out? Ten years out?
At the end of the grant period, my goal is to have successfully implemented NephSIM into the medical school curriculum. The next step will be to improve this learning tool by taking into consideration feedback from both learners and educators. My long-term career goals are to continue to develop and study innovative educational content and curricula. Five to ten years out, I hope to become a leader in medical education, mentor individuals interested in pursuing a career as a clinician educator, and inspire our next generation to choose nephrology as a career choice.
What has surprised you most about your career?
What has surprised me most about my career is how remarkably different it looks today than what I had imagined several years ago. Strong and diverse mentorship (from individuals both within and outside my institution) and pushing myself to follow my passions continue to shape my career.
What are the major challenges facing nephrology today?
All nephrologists know that trainee recruitment into our field is a major challenge. Though there are many factors that go into an ultimately submitted nephrology fellowship application, effective nephrology education that engages trainees may be an important factor in one's specialty choice. The nephrology workforce is rapidly changing as well. I am excited to see positive efforts to expand the use of home dialysis modalities and the integration of subspecialty training into fellowship programs. As a transplant nephrologist, I am equally excited to see developments in immunosuppression, biomarkers for rejection, and most importantly initiatives to increase the number of patients receiving kidney transplants. I believe now it is an incredibly exciting time to be a nephrologist and I hope to show this to our trainees.
In one sentence, please describe the importance of having grant funding available through KidneyCure.
The Bennett Clinical Scholars Grant provides aspiring clinician educators with an important opportunity to focus on important research questions of interest to them, while advancing their careers – this grant's focus on clinician educators is particularly impactful, as funding to support medical education research can be challenging to find.
What advice would you give to others to encourage them to apply for this grant funding?
This grant is the perfect opportunity for anyone with a question they want to answer. There's no reason not to apply. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." – Wayne Gretzky – Michael Scott
Something you may not know about me is…
I can read English, Spanish, Bengali, and Arabic.
In my free time I like to…
play/watch any sport (especially Philadelphia teams), go to concerts, and try new cuisines with my wife.