Influence of Resident and Student Congresses

Over the years, the resident and student congresses have successfully advocated for the AAFP to support legislation, issue new or revised policy statements, and develop programs and resources. The range of topics covered by these groups is impressive.  Examples include:

  • Since the mid-1970s, the resident and student congresses have addressed a wide range of education issues, including funding for graduate medical education, family medicine clerkships, curriculum guidelines, medical student debt, and resident work hours.
  • Throughout the 1980s, the resident and student congresses lobbied for changes in AAFP policies regarding tobacco advertising, sale of tobacco products in drug stores, and labeling of tobacco products.
  • In 1988, the resident congress called for the AAFP to increase its emphasis on adolescent health via both resident and CME training.  This prompted the AAFP to form the AAFP Adolescent Health Task Force which produced a number of resources.
  • In 1988, the resident congress also called for AAFP to strongly encourage all family physicians to participate in CME activities related to AIDS to insure their ability to competently care for AIDS patients and their families.
  • During the 1990s, resident and student leaders adopted a series of resolutions urging the AAFP to support the inclusion of cultural competency training in all residency programs.
  • In 1999, at the encouragement of the resident and student congresses, the AAFP actively lobbied for federal legislation to clarify the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to ensure that breastfeeding was protected under civil rights law.
  • As a result of resolutions adopted by the 2006 resident congress, the AAFP developed a policy regarding hospital use of infant formula in breastfeeding infants, went on record opposing actions that would criminalize the medical care of undocumented foreign-born individuals; and refined its position on abortion, using language crafted by the resident congress.
  • The AAFP Congress of Delegates urged the AAFP to consider seeking sponsorship to launch a national media campaign to educate the public and all health professionals about the scope and value of family physicians.  This action was prompted by a resolution submitted by the 2010 resident congress.
  • Most recently, the AAFP Congress of Delegates adopted AAFP policy supporting civil marriage for same-gender couples put forth by both the 2012 resident and student congresses.