Lauren Segelhorst Named Regional Coordinator For National Medical Student Network

Monday, Feb. 3, 2014


LEAWOOD, Kan. — Lauren Segelhorst, a second-year student at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, has been named a regional coordinator for the American Academy of Family Physicians National Family Medicine Interest Group Network. As coordinator, Segelhorst will serve as a consultant and resource for the FMIGs on medical school campuses in the 10 states — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin — that comprise Region 2 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.

“Family Medicine Interest Groups are integral to building the family physician workforce,” said Reid Blackwelder, MD, president of the AAFP. “They’re essential to family medicine’s Four Pillars( vision for increasing the number of medical students who choose primary care. Our regional FMIG 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.”

As an FMIG regional coordinator, Segelhorst serves 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.

Segelhorst’s interest in medicine grew from her love of science, which was cemented by a high school class in physiology and pathology.

“That’s when I knew I wanted to do something in medical science,” she said. “I originally thought I would go into medical research, but then I attended a conference on health care and realized I wanted to go into patient care.”

A 2011 volunteer trip to Faridabad, Haryana, India, sparked her interest in women’s and global health, and a panel discussion on primary care during her first week in medical school focused her sights on family medicine.

“The family physicians on the panel got me hooked,” she said, noting the speakers’ enthusiasm for the scope of their practices and the professional satisfaction of caring for the whole person, whole families and communities. “It was so refreshing to hear them describe how they treat the whole patient and the whole family.”

Segelhorst earned a bachelor of science degree in neuroscience and vocal performance from St. Louis University in 2012. She was ambassador and programming committee member for the university’s annual ATLAS Week Program, which raises awareness of global and local social justice issues and promotes social justice advocacy.

As a second-year medical student and master of public health candidate at UIC College of Medicine, Segelhorst is the president of the campus Family Medicine Interest Group. She has served as patient services chair of the New Life Volunteer Society, which provides free health care services for the uninsured in Chicago. She also was a member of the American Medical Student Association R.E.A.C.H. (Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in Health) Committee, a national committee that works to reduce health disparities among racial, ethnic and cultural groups.

Segelhorst plans to practice in an urban, underserved area when she completes her medical training. In addition, she wants to focus on care for immigrant populations and hopes to capitalize on her experience and interest in both women’s health and global health. In addition, she plans to pursue additional education in integrative medicine with a goal of treating patients in “a truly holistic manner.”

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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.

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