National Academy of Medicine

James C. Puffer, M.D./American Board of Family Medicine Fellowship

Tammy Chang, MD, MPH
2017-2019 Puffer/ABFM Fellow

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) bring together the most eminent researchers, policy experts, and clinicians from across the country to work together to provide nonpartisan, scientific, and evidence-based advice to national, state, and local policymakers; academic leaders; health care administrators; and the public. The National Academies are uniquely qualified to offer an exceptional learning environment to selected early-career health science scholars and future leaders in medicine and public health. Through an endowment from the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Foundation, the James C. Puffer, M.D./ABFM Fellowship was established under the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Fellowship program in 2011.


The overall purpose of the Puffer/ABFM Fellowship at the NAM is to enable talented, early-career health policy and science scholars in family medicine to participate actively in health- and medicine-related work of the National Academies and to further their careers as future leaders in the field. In considering qualifications for the Puffer/ABFM Fellowship, preference will be given to candidates who have a demonstrated interest in and focus on health quality and health services and have an M.D., Ph.D., or D.O. The program especially welcomes nominations of under-represented minority candidates.

  • Program Description

    The Puffer/ABFM Fellowship is awarded for a two-year period. During this time, the fellow is expected to continue to work at his/her main academic post, while being assigned to a health- and medicine-related board of the National Academies. The boards are:

    • Children, Youth, and Families
    • Food and Nutrition
    • Global Health
    • Health Care Services
    • Health Sciences Policy
    • Population Health and Public Health Practice

    The fellowship requires a ten-to-twenty percent commitment of time for two years, and includes attendance at a one-week orientation to health policy in October, the Fall NAM Annual Meeting and the meetings of the assigned board.  Additionally, the fellow will participate actively in the work of an appropriate expert study committee or roundtable, including contributing to its reports or other products.  Studies will be identified that would enable the potential for the fellow to contribute to the value of integrating medicine and public health.

    This experience will introduce the Puffer/ABFM Fellow to a variety of experts and perspectives, including legislators, government officials, industry leaders, executives of voluntary health organizations, scientists, and other health professionals. In addition, each fellow will be assigned to an NAM member who will serve as a senior mentor during the two years of the fellowship.

    Each Puffer/ABFM Fellow will be asked to designate a tax exempt institution under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which shall receive an unrestricted award of $25,000, with an expressed preference that the award be used to advance the fellow’s professional and academic career in so far as it is practical to do. However, stipends are not intended for use as salary offsets. The stipend will be administered through the appropriate department in the fellow’s home institution.

  • Eligibility Criteria

    Nominees for the Puffer/ABFM Fellowship must meet the following requirements:

    • Nomination by a member of the NAM or governing body of the ABFM
    • Active in the field of family medicine and may include a Ph.D., M.D. or D.O.
    • Received a Ph.D. within the past one-to-ten years, or one-to-ten years out from completion of residency training with an M.D. or D.O.
    • Able to dedicate 10 to 20 percent of time to the fellowship for two years
    • Endorsed by the department chair, institute director, or equivalent
    • U.S. citizen or permanent resident at the time of the nomination
  • Selection Criteria

    Nominees will be evaluated by an NAM-appointed committee according to:

    • Professional accomplishments including research and publications
    • Potential for leadership in health policy or health services
    • Quality of letters of recommendation
    • Expertise in an area of relevance to the NAM

    Preference will be given to candidates who have a demonstrated interest in and focus on health care quality and health services.

  • Nomination Packet

    A complete nomination packet must be submitted electronically through the online nomination system at and will include the following documents:

    • A nomination letter from a member of the NAM or governing body of the ABFM
    • Three (3) letters of reference
    • A supporting letter from the candidate’s department chair, institute director, or equivalent
    • An up-to-date curriculum vitae
    • A brief one-page bio
  • Timeline

    • March 1, 2017 | Call for nominations
    • June 1, 2017 | Nomination packets due
    • July 14, 2017 | Awardee notified
    • October 16, 2017 | Awardee introduced to the NAM membership at the NAM Annual Meeting
    • October 23-27, 2017 | Fellow Orientation Week at the NAM
  • Program Administration

    Inquiries about the Puffer/ABFM Fellowship should be directed to:

    Gregg S. Margolis, PhD
    Health Policy Fellowships and Leadership Programs
    National Academy of Medicine
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20001
    Phone: (202) 334-1506

  • Current Puffer/ABFM Fellow Biography

    Tammy Chang, MD, MPH

    Dr. Tammy Chang is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and a practicing physician at the Corner Health Center and the RAHS School-based Health Centers in Ypsilanti, MI. She is a health services researcher and practicing family physician with a passion for adolescent health, specifically, breaking the cycle of poverty and poor health among adolescent mothers and their children. Her research is focused on improving access to reproductive health care and promoting healthy pregnancy weight gain among at-risk adolescents. Dr. Chang served as co-chief resident in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan and is an alumna of the University of Michigan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program. She serves on the board of directions of the North American Primary Care Research Group and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, where she serves as the chairperson of the Research Committee.