Meet the FMIG Network National Coordinator
The FMIG Network National Coordinator supports and facilitates the work of the five Regional Coordinators to develop and strengthen FMIGs on medical school campuses across the country. He or she is also a member of the AAFP Commission on Education, as well as its subcommittee on National Conference Planning. The National Coordinator is elected at the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students, and serves a one-year term.
Read how National Coordinator Lauren Abdul-Majeed plans to use her passion for family medicine to strengthen the FMIG Network and inspire students to choose family medicine.
2015-2016 FMIG National Coordinator
School: University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
Year: MD, MPH 2017
"When I think about what my future career will look like, I envision a dynamic series of opportunities to promote health and fight disease—all while tackling economic and social injustices. I absolutely love that family medicine can be a powerful combination of both science and humanitarianism."
— Lauren Abdul-Majeed
Why do you think family medicine is important?
Family medicine is the foundation of medicine. It is prevention; it is healing. It is physical; it is psychological. It is acute; it is chronic. It is head-to-toe; it is focused. It is life-long. It is what every person needs, from healthiest to sickest and from youngest to oldest. When considering the critical, foundational role that family medicine plays in the medical field as a whole, it is no surprise that the future of our health care system will depend on the expertise and expansion of family medicine. Family medicine is vital from an individual to global level.
What do you enjoy most about family medicine?
The possibilities are endless. When I think about what my future career will look like, I envision a dynamic series of opportunities to promote health and fight disease—all while tackling economic and social injustices. I absolutely love that family medicine can be a powerful combination of both science and humanitarianism.
How did you get involved with your FMIG on campus and what made you stick with the group and pursue a student leadership role?
I became involved with our campus FMIG during my first year of medical school when I began to consider family medicine as a career option. I was drawn to the students and faculty present at FMIG events, which kept me coming back for more. However, it was a friend in the second-year class who ultimately served as a mentor and encouraged me to pursue a leadership position within our campus FMIG and subsequently with the national FMIG Network as a Regional Coordinator. In retrospect, getting involved with leadership roles was an excellent decision that has opened many doors and has led to many invaluable relationships.
Why do you think the FMIG Network is important?
The FMIG Network includes faculty and FMIG leaders at the campus level across the country, as well as the Regional Coordinators and National Coordinator. This network of leaders was created to facilitate communication and best practices among FMIG leaders nationwide. What could be more valuable for an FMIG? These open communication pathways are not only a great resource for FMIG programming and development but also a wonderful source of support and encouragement. The FMIG Network is one way in which the AAFP shows its dedication to students’ educational and professional development.
What do you hope to accomplish in the upcoming year as National Coordinator?
I had two primary goals in mind when I decided to pursue this position. The first is that I would like to, with the help of the whole FMIG Network, improve sustainability among FMIGs. While many FMIGs have consistently phenomenal leadership and programming year after year, other groups have ups and downs and may struggle with leadership transition. I believe that the FMIG Network can play an integral role in the sharing of best practices that can be tailored to any FMIG’s individual needs to become successful. Secondly, I look forward to working with AAFP staff and other student leaders to explore how we can inspire students with an interest in family medicine actually to pursue it as a career. There are many factors that influence a student’s decision to apply for residency in a particular specialty, and understanding various apprehensions or misconceptions about practicing family medicine may be the first step.
What do you recommend to other students who are considering student leadership roles?
There are so many opportunities to pursue AAFP student leadership roles, both within the FMIG Network and beyond. If you have an idea of how you would like to get involved—and even if you don’t!—the best resources to explore your options include the AAFP website, the FMIG Network, and your state chapter.
What do you wish all medical students understood about family medicine?
Unfortunately, cliché misconceptions about family medicine still exist among medical students. Somehow, I continue to hear many students complain that family medicine is too limited or too shallow. I wish that all students had quality exposure to family medicine to understand its true depth and breadth, as well as the scope of what a career in family medicine can look like. There is an incredibly diverse range of ways that family physicians practice medicine, and as I mentioned before, the possibilities are endless.