FMIG Family Medicine Programming Ideas

The following programs and events were selected from FMIG Program of Excellence Award applications. Browse the list to get ideas and inspiration for your FMIG. Each entry shows the level of effort that went into the program/event, how many students participated, and a detailed description in the students' own words.


Call Shadowing

FMIG: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

What it took to organize: 40 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 5 students and residents

Details: This program is one of the greatest ways in which our medical students interact with family medicine residents. It provides a longitudinal experience throughout the year, for students to “shadow” family medicine residents, one-on-one during a call shift at one of the two of the local hospitals where our residents train. First year through fourth year students are offered tailored experiences related to their level of knowledge and comfort - ranging from observation to acting like an intern - helping to answer pages, write notes, and perform procedures. This program gives students the opportunity to catch a glimpse of what a life as a Family Medicine resident is like, and to experience what being a Family Medicine doctor is all about. In addition to giving students a valuable medical education experience, it also allows them to ask more personal questions to a resident - that they may not otherwise ask to a faculty member. While the primary goal of the program is to connect the students with the residents, a secondary goal is to connect the residents to the students and the medical school. The students describe the role of our FMIG to the residents they shadow. Through this program the residents learn more about opportunities to give noon talks and to participate in FMIG events. The residents are also encouraged to attend the AAFP Student and Resident conference in Kansas City - and reminded by our current students to “give back” by participating in local, regional, and national conferences. We now have residents giving talks sponsored by FMIG, participating in and giving advice at our “Chili and Chocolate” event, participating and presenting at our “Dinner with the Doctors” event, attending the AAFP National Conference, and being active in the Congress of Delegates. Our FMIG advisor takes care of registration and communication with the residents, and our FMIG leaders are responsible for encouraging students to participate in this opportunity. Many of the relationships formed through this program continue throughout the student’s career -- providing long-term mentorship.


Careers in Family Medicine vs. Medicine-Pediatrics

FMIG: Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

What it took to organize: 3 students, 5 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 60

Details: Careers in Family Medicine versus Medicine-Pediatrics was an interest group lunch meeting co-hosted with FMIG, Medicine-Pediatrics Interest Group, and the Brody School of Medicine Office of Student Development and Academic Counseling (OSDAC). This topic was proposed as an important topic to address because of the frequency of the question, “What’s the difference between Family Medicine and Med-Peds?” The meeting showcased the Brody School of Medicine Family Medicine residency director, Dr. Jonathon Firnhaber, and the Brody School of Medicine Med-Peds residency director, Dr. Mary Catherine Turner. The two speakers discussed the similarities and differences between their two respective specialties and how each of these specialties serve the purpose of primary care in Eastern North Carolina. Dr. Firnhaber explained the capability of Family Medicine physicians to take care of patients of all ages, perform a wide variety of outpatient procedures, and provide continuity of care for patients admitted to the hospital. He also emphasized that the opportunities available in Family Medicine can be tailored to one’s interests and skills including Sports Medicine and Obstetrics care. This meeting was highly regarded by the students in attendance because the speakers were able to make the distinctions between the two specialties clear while also emphasizing the need for collaboration with Family Medicine and Med-Peds to be able to provide the most comprehensive primary care for our patients. The role of the FMIG leaders in this meeting was to contact the two speakers and prepare a formal introduction as well as coordinate with OSDAC to advertise the event to students. Our FMIG advisor attended this event and was given updates regarding the progress of our planning and advertising. We measured the success of this event through number of student attendees as well as a survey organized by OSDAC. This event will be considered again in the future because of strong student interest and beneficial collaboration between primary care specialties.


Family Medicine and Community Health Centers

FMIG: George Washington University

What it took to organize: 5 students, 4 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 30

Details: Unfortunately, our program does not have a Family Medicine department or robust relationships with community health centers and most of our classmates will graduate from GW without having worked with Family Medicine physicians or spending time in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). In response to this lack of exposure, we held two events in October that sought to educate our FMIG members and classmates about the important role that Family Medicine physicians and community health centers play in confronting health disparities in the United States.

First, we hosted the medical director (Dr. Andrea Anderson) of the Upper Cardozo Unity Clinic and several of her colleagues and residents from the Wright Center’s National Family Medicine Residency Program. They discussed both the services that federally qualified health centers provide and their decisions to go into Family Medicine. We invited both FMIG members and members of a Community Health focused academic group at GW to attend.

For our second event, we traveled to the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC to tour and learn about a community health center that primarily serves Central American immigrants. For most of our members, this field trip represented their first direct exposure to an FQHC. We toured the facilities, met with medical providers, and ended with a group discussion with the medical director. This was the first time our FMIG had organized a field trip to an off site location. Our members were very enthusiastic about the experience and we plan to have more site visits in the future.


FMIG Open House - Welcome Home to a Career in Family Medicine

FMIG: Albany Medical College

Level of Effort: Not specified

Number of students who attended/participated: 24

Details: Target Audience: First, Second, Third Year Medical Students
24 students attended, 4 residents, 2 faculty, 1 staff

Goal: To introduce students to the field of Family Medicine by giving them real world perspectives on training, work-life balance and scope of practice.

Project Components and timeline: (2-2.5 hours)
Introduction of Presenters (5 minutes)
Panel presentation covering (55 minutes) including 1 faculty and four current FM residents
Overview of FM residency training requirements
Translation of training requirements into potential scope of practice
Fellowship possibilities for future training

Examples of Family Physician careers:
Outpatient, Hospitalist, Student health Geriatrics Adolescent Medicine
Obstetric Care (with or without c/s) Abortion care Sports medicine Academic Medicine Expert witness
Emergency medicine Urgent Care Integrative Medicine Correctional health (adult or juvenile) Concierge Medicine
Direct Primary Care Policy/Advocacy Underserved Medicine Newborn Nursery Global Health
Health Management Psychiatric Care Asylum Medicine Sexual assault Research
Dermatology Pain management Addiction Medicine Employee Health Public Health

Provided Small group work with hands-on workshops highlighting procedural scope of practice (30-60 minutes)
- IUD placement and contraception overview
- Derm procedures: punch biopsy, shave biopsy
- Joint injections
- Tour of Family Medicine Clinic and Residency Space (15-30 minutes)

Evaluation: Evaluated success of meeting using the AAFP FMIG Presentation Evaluation Form (22 of 24 students responded)
19 students felt meeting STRONGLY impacted their understanding of Scope of Practice with 3 a MODERATE impact
18 students felt meeting STRONGLY impacted their understanding of settings in which FM docs practice. 4 with MODERATE
21 students felt meeting STRONGLY impacted their understanding of Career Opportunities. 1 a MODERATE impact
22 students felt meeting STRONGLY impacted their understanding of Scope of FM residency training


Informational Physician Panels

FMIG: Saint Louis University School of Medicine

What it took to organize: 6 students, 10 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 60 per event

Details: As part of our activities with PCIG, we have planned and hosted several physician panels throughout the year to help students explore the differences between Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatric Medicine, as well as understand the scope of practices within these fields.

At the end of NPCW in October, we hosted a panel of academic primary care physicians to discuss what it is like to practice in both clinic and academia. The speaker we arranged for Family Medicine was Dr. Emily Doucette, a SLU academic physician. Questions from students were mainly focused on what it meant to be an academic physician, the lifestyles of academic physicians, and the criteria for practicing within academic medicine. Turnout from this event was much larger than previous years, and students seemed particularly interested in the academic side of medical practice.

The Primary Care Research Panel was comprised of physicians from Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics who all participate in research within their fields. This was the first year that we have held a panel like this, and students were pleasantly surprised by the variety of research that primary care physicians are able to engage in while still having a clinical practice. M1s, M2s, and M3s were present and asked a lot of insightful questions that facilitated good dialogue among the panelists.

PCIG has planned a final panel discussing community practice for Spring. The focus is twofold: to step away from hospital medicine and help students inquire about working in the community, and highlight the importance of women in primary care by inviting female physicians in the community. We have several Family Medicine physicians in mind for this event, and are excited to finish our physician panel series with a discussion of an important aspect of primary care in the United States: the private practice office.

Overall, enthusiasm and turnout for the panels has been excellent, and we feel that these important discussions have really helped push the uniqueness and diversity of practice found in primary care to our fellow classmates.