AAFP Program of Excellence Awards Recognize 16 Family Medicine Interest Groups

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Friday, July 06, 2012

Contact:
Leslie Champlin
Senior Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5224
lchampli@aafp.org

LEAWOOD, Kan. — LEAWOOD, Kan. — The American Academy of Family Physicians has named 16 medical school Family Medicine Interest Groups as the 2012 Program of Excellence Award winners for their outstanding activities in generating interest in family medicine.

Award winners will be honored during a July 27 ceremony at the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City.

FMIGs are medical school-sponsored organizations that give students a chance to learn more about family medicine through regular meetings, workshops, leadership development opportunities, and community and clinical experiences. The Program of Excellence Awards recognizes FMIGs for their outstanding performance in FMIG operation, community service, promoting the value of primary care, exposure to family medicine and family physicians, professional development and measures of success. Nationwide, 140 FMIGs operate on medical school campuses.

“Family medicine interest groups are essential to building our family physician workforce at a time when the nation increasingly needs primary care doctors. The FMIGs help medical students understand the professional challenge and personal satisfaction of being a family physician,” said Perry Pugno, MD, MPH, AAFP vice president of education. “All of this year’s award winners have done outstanding work in giving students the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom, develop leadership skills that will serve them in their future practices and communities, and better understand the vital role that family medicine plays in our health care system.”

In addition to recognizing 10 FMIGs for their overall performance, the 2012 AAFP Program of Excellence Awards cites a first-time applicant and five winners in specific areas: community service, exposure to family medicine and family physicians, professional development, promoting the value of primary care, and initiatives for third- and fourth-year students.

The awards have been given for more than a decade, and competition has significantly grown over time, according to Pugno. This year a record number of nominations were submitted for the award.

The AAFP publishes the winning FMIGs’ applications on its FMIG Network website to serve as inspiration for FMIGs across the nation. Winning applications can be found at fmignet.aafp.org/poe.

2012 AAFP Program of Excellence Award Winners

Overall Award
Albany Medical College Family Medicine Interest Group
The Albany Medical College FMIG was honored for its members’ enthusiasm in planning and implementing programs that build their leadership skills, demonstrate the value of family medicine, and teach the community and individuals about wellness and maintain good health.

East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group
The James H. Quillen College of Medicine FMIG was honored for launching three new community service programs to its already extensive repertoire in 2012. The programs allowed the FMIG to increase the number of students in leadership positions, reach out to more members of the community, and promote the medical school, primary care and the FMIG on a wider scale. In addition, the group held its first book club, which provided a venue in which faculty could mentor students and FMIG members could learn from one another about clerkship experiences and medical school experiences.

Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California Family Medicine Interest Group
The Keck School of Medicine FMIG was honored for its outreach, leadership and collaboration with other organizations and specialties to work with the student-run health clinic and Cuddle Club, a program that allows medical students to interact with newborn babies in the hospital. The Keck FMIG’s programs demonstrated the family physician’s expertise in preventive, clinical medicine and procedural skills. The FMIG continued to promote its mentorship program and to provide opportunities for students to interact with family physicians. The FMIG also hosted hands-on procedural workshops and brown-bag lunch talks on topics ranging from inter-professional care models in geriatrics to post-graduate specialty training.

Medical College of Wisconsin Family Medicine Student Association
The Medical College of Wisconsin Family Medicine Student Association was honored for its leadership training, highly regarded community service projects and strong member involvement in a variety of opportunities that demonstrate the rewards of family medicine.

Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group
The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine FMIG was honored for its ongoing, thriving program that draws dedicated students who develop and lead programs that promote family medicine, meet the needs of their peers, and serve the community. The FMIG enjoys strong support from advisors and the Penn State Department of Family and Community Medicine who provide advice and support that enables the FMIG to offer high-quality leadership development and other programs that augment the students’ formal medical education.

University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Family Medicine Interest Group
The University of Arizona College of Medicine FMIG was honored for its growth in membership and its ability to help meet health needs of rural and Native American Arizonans. In addition, the FMIG worked closely with the local chapters of the American Medical Student Association to transform National Primary Care Week onto a hands-on experience for students. The group also coordinated with the Integrative Medicine Club to promote The Healer’s Art, an elective designed to help students to learn about, foster and apply the humanistic and compassionate side of medicine.

University of Nebraska College of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group
The University of Nebraska College of Medicine FMIG was honored for successfully recruiting members by working with family medicine practices who actively reached out to first- through fourth-year medical students. In addition, the FMIG enhanced its programs and expanded service opportunities that met the needs of both the students and the community.

University of Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine at San Antonio Family Medicine Interest Group
The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine, San Antonio, FMIG was honored for both its leadership and collaboration with other organizations in promoting primary care from a multi-disciplinary perspective, and for addressing health needs in the community through its programming and service.

University of Washington School of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group
The University of Washington FMIG was honored for its campus leadership in advocating for primary care. By coordinating and leading a combination of family medicine-focused events and collaborative efforts with pediatrics-, obstetrics-, and internal medicine-focused student organizations, the FMIG has established itself as the dominant voice for both family medicine and primary care advocacy at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Student Family Medicine Association
The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine SFMA was honored for providing leadership training to members and its strong collaboration with the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Family Medicine as well as family medicine residency programs and community family physicians. The group established fmConnect, a separate group designed specifically for third- and fourth-year students, to maintain contact and provide programming that accommodates these students’ complex schedules as they complete clinical rotations.

Categorical Award
Special Consideration for First Time Applicant: Tulane University School of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group
The Tulane University School of Medicine FMIG was honored as a first-time applicant, a highly competitive award category this year. Working to address the health needs of New Orleans residents struggling to find primary care and preventive services, the FMIG provides a range of clinical, hands-on opportunities in which students can provide primary care, elder care, assistance to caregivers, adolescent mentoring, professional development and sports medicine.

Excellence in Promoting the Value of Primary Care: David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, Family Medicine Interest Group
The David Geffen School of Medicine FMIG was honored for its collaboration with numerous organizations, demonstrating the value of primary care for patients and the community and promoting family medicine as a challenging and rewarding specialty. The FMIG worked with other universities to support outreach activities during National Primary Care Week and the Minority Health Conference. Members also worked with the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and interest groups including orthopedic surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, along with the student-run health clinic. As a result of its activities with these organizations, the FMIG has extended its reach to students and provided meaningful service to the community.

Excellence Professional Development: Georgetown University School of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group
The Georgetown University School of Medicine FMIG was honored for its emphasis on introducing students to a variety of careers in family medicine, supporting students during the residency application process, and providing programming that addresses the practice issues that will arise as they apply for residency training and begin their medical careers. In addition, the FMIG’s programs enhance students’ clinical skills administering skin tests and vaccines, and provide clinical experiences through Georgetown’s free health clinic.

Excellence in Community Service: Saint Louis University School of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group
The St. Louis University School of Medicine FMIG was honored for its multiple community service programs and its collaboration with the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), the Pediatrics Interest Group, the Global Health Learning Community, the Surgery Interest Group and the Geriatric Interest Group to reach out to a greater number of community residents. The collaboration has strengthened the FMIG’s new programs. Through the collaboration with SNMA, students created the Community Health Coalition, a program through which students do blood pressure checks and promote healthful food options at the City Plaza Schnucks grocery store in North St. Louis. The FMIG also started participating in TimeSlips, a national storytelling program geared toward patients with dementia.

Excellence in Exposure to Family Medicine and Family Physicians: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Family Medicine Interest Group
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health does not require medical students to complete a clerkship in family medicine. The school’s FMIG overcame that void by scheduling monthly events that brought students into contact with practicing family physicians. Each month was recognized for enabling medical students to regularly interact with family physicians and learn of the rewards and opportunities in family medicine.

Excellence in Initiatives for Third and Fourth Year Students: Wayne State University School of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group
The Wayne State FMIG was honored for its innovative program for third-year medical students, a separate group called FMIG3. The program proactively reaches out to students after they have completed their family medicine clerkship and provides ongoing activities that reinforce their enthusiasm for the specialty. Among programs offered are presentations and informal meetings with family medicine residency programs and school of medicine alumni that foster ongoing mentoring and professional relationships for the students.

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