Tips For New (And Longtime) Attendees

We asked three of AAFP's most active and enthusiastic members what they do to get the most out of FMX.

What comes to mind if somebody asks, "Why does FMX matter?"

Sarah C. Nosal, MD, FAAFP, President, New York State Academy of Family Physicians and Medical Director, Urban Horizons Family Health Center: It is really important to connect to the experience of other family doctors on the national level. Family Medicine is so many things around the country, and FMX helps both to appreciate that and bring that home to the students and residents, helping to keep a broad view of what is possible in family medicine.
Mike Sevilla, MD, family physician at the Family Practice Center of Salem, Ohio: Not only do you get some of the best Family Medicine courses around, but also FMX offers an excellent Expo Hall, inspirational speakers, and lots of opportunities for networking with your colleagues!
Kim Yu, MD, FAAFP, Immediate Past Chair & Past President, Michigan Academy of Family Physicians: FMX is my go-to conference to renew and refresh, to connect with fellow family physicians and friends, and to gain valuable updates and CME. There's something empowering and energizing to gather with thousands of like-minded physicians who live and breathe family medicine.

What's the most valuable part of FMX to you?

Nosal: I am still a nerd and really love learning new things and sharpening up my knowledge on skills that are important to my patients' needs. It's important that I can rely on the evidence based nature of the information I am learning and know that the content is not biased. This is at the core of FMX.
Sevilla: This year, the most valuable part will be "FMX On Demand" which is an online library with key sessions. I'm looking forward to re-reviewing some sessions, and catching some sessions that I missed in person.
Yu: I enjoy the main stage General Sessions. I know that I will hear something inspiring and memorable, something that I'll remember for years to come.

What's the best piece of advice anybody has given you about FMX?

Sevilla: FMX is so busy, you could easily want to be in three places at once. Do what you can to prioritize your schedule so you won't be overwhelmed.
Yu: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a sweater or jacket as it can get incredibly cold in the meeting rooms! Bring an external battery pack for your phone.

How do you get the most out of the CME and other education sessions?

Nosal: The FMX schedule is nicely broken up with work and play as well as with CME in a variety of formats so you do not get too bogged down in learning in one particular way.  I prioritize topics that I know I have some room for improvement on, followed by topics I just really like and am interested in, and mix that up in each day.
Yu: I download the app and star the sessions I want to attend. This also allows me to download handouts. I also tweet things I learn or find helpful to increase my retention and keep me focused on the speaker.

How do you get the most out of the networking opportunities?

Nosal: Most important for me is attending the Member Constituency Meet and Greet and Membership Interest Group gatherings on Thursday night. The National Conference of Constituency Leaders (NCCL) is the leadership training stomping grounds for women, minority, new physician, LGBT, and IMG family docs, and FMX's fall gathering is what keeps us going until the Spring. From there we often head to the Foundation event and celebrate our contributions to the good work of the AAFP Foundation.
Sevilla: Member Interest Groups (MIGs) are groups of people with similar professional interests. Look for these on your FMX schedule, as this is a great opportunity to meet family medicine colleagues!

What's your preferred social media platform(s)?

Nosal: Twitter is the way to go — @SCNosalMD and this year @NYSAFP_Prez
Sevilla: I'll be tweeting out using the #AAFPFMX hashtag. Find me on twitter @DrMikeSevilla
Yu: Twitter (@drkkyu). I use twitter a lot during FMX, but will sometimes use Facebook or Instagram.