University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine’s Lauren Kendall Named National Coordinator for Medical Student Network

Thursday, Feb. 07, 2013


LEAWOOD, Kan. — Lauren Kendall, a fourth-year student at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, has been named national coordinator for the American Academy of Family Physicians National Family Medicine Interest Group Network.

As national coordinator, Kendall 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 National Conference Planning.

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.

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

Kendall was attracted to family medicine because she saw the impact primary care physicians have on their patients.

“Family physicians have the knowledge to empower other people to improve their lives,” she said. “I value the doctor-patient relationship and the relationship family physicians have with their communities. They care for everyone, regardless of their age, race, religion, gender.

Moreover, Kendall values the relationship family physicians have with their communities. She plans to practice in a rural, underserved area “where I can connect with the community, practice everything from obstetrics and newborn care to geriatrics. I can’t wait to be able to do it all.”

As Illinois AFP student president 2011 to 2012, Kendall represented coordinated FMIG activities throughout Illinois and represented medical student interests on the Illinois AFP Board of Directors. She also served as president of the FMIG at the UIC from 2009 to 2010. In addition, Kendall served as vice president of the American Medical Student Association at UIC from 2009 to 2010.

Kendall has worked with and advocated for disadvantage patients throughout her academic career. In 2012, Kendal was named a scholar with the Dr. David Monash/Ruth E. Mitchel Medical Student Scholarship Program. As a scholar, she works with development and maintenance of “Be Alright,” a grassroots organization that helps domestic violence survivors. In the summer of 2012, she worked as a shelter volunteer at Casa Jackson in Antigua, Guatemala, where she cared for infants and children in a shelter for malnourished Guatemalans.

She was a student volunteer at the Hispanocare Community Health Fairs, in which she works with low-income English-, Spanish- and Polish-speaking communities to screen for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. She also is program scholar with the Patient Centered Medicine Scholars Program, working with victims of domestic violence at a local shelter, teaching nutrition, and working as a physician-patient liaison to help patients navigate the health care system and improve their quality of life.

In addition, Kendall volunteers with PAWS Chicago Animal Shelter, working both onsite and as a foster home. In 2009, she organized and launched the College of Medicine blood drive, which donated blood to meet specific needs of patients in the community. The blood drive was such a success, she oversaw a second event in 2010.

Kendall completed a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit Follow us on Twitter,( and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,