Albany Medical College Student Named Regional Coordinator of AAFP Family Medicine Interest Group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Monday, March 6, 2017

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

LEAWOOD, Kan. — Ranjani Natarajan, a second-year medical student at the Albany Medical College, has been named a regional coordinator for the American Academy of Family Physicians National Family Medicine Interest Group Network. As coordinator, Natarajan will serve as a consultant and resource for the FMIGs on medical school campuses in the nine states that comprise Region 4 of the network—Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Delaware.

The AAFP established the National FMIG Network to strengthen the on-campus organizations that focus on promoting family medicine as a career. The network is composed of campus faculty and student FMIG leaders, appointed regional coordinators, and an elected national coordinator. It is designed to foster communication among FMIGs across the country.

“Family Medicine Interest Groups are an important part of our efforts to increase the number of students who choose family medicine as their specialty,” said John Meigs, Jr., MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “They introduce students to the scope of family medicine, the expertise of family physicians, and the professional satisfaction of providing comprehensive care to an entire family over their lifetimes. As a regional coordinator, Ranjani is vital to helping fellow medical students not only learn more about family medicine, but also about the opportunities out there for both service and leadership in their communities and their profession.”

As an FMIG regional coordinator, Natarajan provides a role model for fellow students at a time when demand for family physicians is growing.

Prior to medical school, Natarajan was a 2007 Teach for America Corps Member, teaching middle school children from underserved communities in Phoenix. Her time spent with children, some with special needs, wielded a tremendous influence on her decision to pursue a career in primary health care.

As a student at Albany Medical College, Natarajan became an active FMIG member, working with refugee families through the Albany Med Commitment to Refugees and Immigrants. She also volunteered with Albany’s Care from the Start, a clinic serving a high-needs population. In the fall of 2016, Natarajan was named a National Health Service Corps scholar.

“Family physicians hold the unique position of serving as patient advocates within their communities,” Natarajan said. “The patient-physician relationship is very much like the teacher-student relationship. Both family physicians and teachers have the unique responsibility of integrating each person’s socioeconomic status, education, language abilities and family support in order to help that person meet his or her goal.”

 

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 124,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit
www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).