Nailah Adams Launches Term as National Coordinator For Family Medicine Interest Group Network

Trincity, Trinidad and Tobago national is fourth-year student at Duke University School of Medicine

Thursday, February 02, 2012


LEAWOOD, Kan. — Nailah Adams, a fourth-year student at Duke University School of Medicine, this month took the reins of a new group of regional coordinators, serving as national coordinator of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Family Medicine Interest Group Network.

Her term as national FMIG coordinator for the 2011-12 academic year comes at a time when demand for family physicians is growing. The Affordable Care Act will implement significant changes in the way health care is delivered. The reformed system will emphasize primary medical care provided in a patient-centered medical home — an approach that incorporates physician-led teams of professionals who work with the patient to prevent health problems, coordinate care and avoid preventable complications of chronic conditions. That new focus increases the need for family physicians and their primary care physician colleagues.

“Family Medicine Interest Groups are one of the best ways that medical students learn about the breadth, depth and rewards of family medicine,” said Glen Stream, MD, MBI, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “Regional coordinators are key to introducing students not only to family medicine, but also to the opportunities out there for both service and leadership in their communities and their profession.”

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

As national coordinator, Adams works with regional FMIG coordinators across the United States to develop and strengthen FMIGs on medical school campuses. She also will be a member of the AAFP Commission on Education, as well as its subcommittee on Resident and Student Issues and the subcommittee on National Conference Planning. During the 2011 calendar year, she served as Region 5 coordinator of the FMIG Network.

Adams’ love of providing comprehensive primary medical care and her plans to teach family medicine spurred her involvement in FMIGs.

“I’ve loved being a regional FMIG coordinator,” she said. “The AAFP is the most inclusive organization, and it’s important to them that medical students have an impact. I wanted to share my ideas and energy with a larger group of students.”

Adams has teaching in her blood. Before beginning medical school, she taught elementary school in Trinidad, West Indies, and middle school in Oxon Hill, Md. She’s passionate about generating interest in family medicine among students in elementary, middle and high school, as well as among undergraduate college students.

Adams, a former student at Tunapuna Anglican School and Bishop Anstey High School in Trinidad, said her love for science, health topics, teaching and people first drew her to medicine. The ability to combine those interests with the full range of medical practice attracted her to family medicine. The specialty, she said, combines all her interests with her desire to help people improve their lives.

During her academic career, Adams has served as vice president of the Sports Medicine Society at Howard University, the class representative for recruitment and graduate affairs at the Institute of Human Nutrition, a counselor at Camp Kaleidoscope for Duke University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics patients, and a student volunteer recruiter at the Duke University School of Medicine Alumni Weekend KidFest. She is also a member of the Primary Care Leadership Track Advisory Group.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest 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 For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,