Howard University College of Medicine Student Named to Key Liaison Position For American Academy of Family Physicians

Monday, Feb. 3, 2014


LEAWOOD, Kan. —  Alice Esame, a third-year student at Howard University College of Medicine, has been named the American Academy of Family Physicians student liaison to the Student National Medical Association.

As liaison, Esame will coordinate communication, outreach activities, and shared projects and campaigns between the AAFP Family Medicine Interest Groups and the SNMA.

A native of Cameroon, Esame “witnessed firsthand how debilitating the lack of efficient health care can be and it molded an innate passion to be the change in my community that I always dreamt of,” she said. Esame moved to the United States when she was 13, and her dedication to health care continued.

“My mother was a midwife, so health care was something I was always around,” she said. “Family medicine made perfect sense because as a family physician, I can heal the whole person.”

Subspecialists learn to treat a specific disease, but family physicians are taught to look at all factors — including social determinants of health — in helping their patients, she said. Moreover, family medicine provides “opportunities for diversity in my work. That challenge is very appealing to me. Family medicine is where I can have the most impact on people’s lives.”

Esame has volunteered with the New Freedman’s Clinic, the student-operated health service sponsored by Howard University College of Medicine. She also has volunteered with Health Services for Children with Special Needs, a part of the HSC Foundation’s programs to meet the health care needs of children in low-income families. She also volunteers with Martha’s Table Mobile Soup Kitchen.

As an undergraduate in Birmingham, Esame was a volunteer with the Pathways Women’s and Children’s Shelter and the St. Francis Xavier Women’s Soup Kitchen.

Esame is active in the District of Columbia Academy of Family Physicians, currently serving as the student member of the DC AFP Board of Directors. A member of the campus Family Medicine Interest Group since 2012, Esame has as the organization’s liaison to medical students in her class. Currently chapter president of the Howard University College of Medicine chapter of Student National Medical Association, she has also served as the organization’s vice president and fundraising chair.

In addition, Esame serves as the class of 2015 vice president of admissions, providing input in the selection of students for the incoming classes.

A National Cancer Institute research intern during the 2012 and 2013 summers and a McNair Scholars summer intern at the University of Alabama in 2008, Esame is the co-author of two research papers published in the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia and in Anethesiology.

Esame earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, where she was inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society and the Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Honor Society.

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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,