Diana Tucci Named Regional Coordinator for National Medical Student Network

Stamford, Conn., native is University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine student

Thursday, February 02, 2012


LEAWOOD, Kan. — Diana Tucci, a third-year student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, has been elected to a second term as a regional coordinator for the American Academy of Family Physicians National Family Medicine Interest Group Network. As a coordinator, Tucci will serve as a consultant and resource for the FMIGs on medical school campuses in the six states — Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C., and Uniformed Services students — that comprise Region 3 of the network.

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.

Tucci said family medicine offers an opportunity to help people, build a fulfilling career and maintain a balanced lifestyle.

“Family medicine is what I thought medicine always was — taking care of families, helping people with their medical issues, their psychosocial issues, providing continuity of care over time and taking care of communities,” said Tucci. “I can do prenatal care, deliver babies and take care of mom and baby. As a family physician, I can take care of all of them without giving anything up.

“The doctor-patient relationship is so important and unique. You get to really make an impact in other people’s lives.”

As immediate past president of the University of Pittsburgh FMIG, Tucci was “a remarkably effective advocate for family medicine at her medical school, and her enthusiasm is contagious,” said John Jordan, CAE, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians. “She leads her FMIG with a calm and thoughtful manner, while seemingly effortlessly improving the organization and communication of her group exponentially.”

As an FMIG regional coordinator, Tucci provides a role model for fellow students at a time when demand for family physicians is growing. The Affordable Care Act will implement significant changes in the way that 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.”

During her first term as a regional coordinator, Tucci implemented a new communication tool, creating short videos published on YouTube that share upcoming FMIG news and opportunities. She plans to continue creating these videos during 2012 as a new medium of communication for the FMIG Network.

In addition to her FMIG work, Tucci is a National Health Service Corps Scholar, participates in the Salk Fellowship on quality improvement in health care, and is an active student member of the Pennsylvania AFP. Tucci also conducts community based research developing a curriculum for high school students to enact healthy behavior changes within their families.

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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 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(familydoctor.org).