Student and Resident Leadership Opportunities

The American Academy of Family Physicians highly values the contributions made by family medicine residents and medical students and recognizes the importance of training future leaders of medicine. It is one of the few specialty organizations to actively enlist resident and student members in leadership roles.

General Information

What AAFP leadership opportunities are available to residents and students?

How will I benefit from this involvement?

Among other things, you have the opportunity to:

  • Network with family physicians from all across the country.
  • Attend national meetings funded by the AAFP, such as the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students
  • Participate in the discussion of issues key to health care delivery and to family medicine.
  • Learn more about topics of special interest.
  • Cultivate organizational and communication skills.
  • Spend time with other resident and student leaders who share common interests and concerns.

To learn more, talk to current and past leaders about their experiences. View a list of resident and student leaders(3 page PDF).

Are there special requirements for positions?

  • You must be a current AAFP member to be elected or appointed to an AAFP position.
  • Some positions require at least one year of experience in an AAFP position at the national level. Refer to the position descriptions for this information. The following are considered national level positions:
    • AAFP Board Member
    • National Conference Chair
    • Delegate or Alternate Delegate to Congress of Delegates
    • National FMIG Coordinator
    • AAFP commission member
    • and board members of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

What will it cost me to participate?

You should not incur any expenses to attend required meetings. Residents and students elected or appointed to AAFP positions are reimbursed for transportation expenses and paid a per diem for meals, taxi, hotel and other travel expenses when on official authorized Academy business. Resident and student leaders are encouraged to complete their expense vouchers at the end of a meeting and return them to staff as soon as possible.

Upon election or appointment, resident and student leaders receive detailed information about reimbursable expenses. Any amount reimbursed above actual expenses is considered taxable income. The AAFP submits a 1099 form to the IRS for the amounts paid. Those expenses for which documentation exists (hotel bill, meal receipts) can be deducted from the amount that is taxable.

How much time is involved?

You will be expected to attend all portions of assigned meetings, including the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. Whenever possible, meetings are scheduled for weekends to minimize the number of days away from residency and school obligations. Check specific position descriptions for estimated meeting days.

Work is also done through electronic communications. Members spend 2-4 hours per month on electronic work. You will receive information specific to your position after elected or appointed.

Will my institution give me the time off to attend meetings?

If you plan to run for an elected position or apply for an appointment, you must be confident that you will be granted the time off to attend required meetings.
Residents should obtain a letter of recommendation from your residency program director. Students should have the medical school dean sign a special form (see AAFP Student Leadership Participation form in application section). There are also several steps that you can take to ensure support:

  • Know your institution’s attendance policies.
  • Find out if any of your classmates have served in AAFP positions.
  • Share information about the position you are seeking and the general meeting schedule with the appropriate individuals.
  • Explain what you hope to gain from the experience (e.g., leadership development, advocacy, policy development, etc.).
  • Volunteer to present relevant information from AAFP meetings during a brown bag lunch, grand rounds, etc.

2014 Application Timeline for Elections and Appointments

Chapter DeadlineContact your chapter immediately to find out when your application materials for AAFP commission appointments are due to the chapter.
July 12
Deadline for early submission of candidate materials for elected positions (i.e., application, CV and letters).
August 1-3National Conference—If not submitted before July 12, Candidate materials for resident and student elections may be submitted on site.
August 19Deadline for submission of applications for the Annals of Family Medicine Editorial Board position.
August 19Deadline for submission of applications for AMA-MSS and AMA-RFS positions.
September 9Deadline for chapters to submit resident/student commission applications and support materials to AAFP. Deadline for submission of applications for FMIG Network Regional Coordinator and Student Liaison to the Student National Medical Association.
Mid-SeptemberAMA representatives are selected.
October 3-4COE Resident/Student Screening Committee meets to review applications and make recommendations for FMIG Regional Coordinators and commission appointments to the Board of Directors.