Aurora Native Syed Mustafa Alavi Named National Coordinator For Medical Student Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Monday, Feb. 3, 2014

Contact:
Megan Moriarty
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5223
mmoriarty@aafp.org

LEAWOOD, Kan. — Syed Mustafa Alavi, an Aurora, Ill., native and third-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, Alavi works with regional FMIG coordinators across the United States to develop and strengthen FMIGs on medical school campuses. He 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 integral to building the family physician workforce,” said Reid Blackwelder, MD, president of the AAFP. “They’re essential to family medicine’s Four Pillars(www.annfammed.org) 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.”

Alavi’s interest in medicine grew from his childhood when his grandmother moved into his family’s home. As she developed health conditions due to aging, he helped her cope with illness as she navigated the complex and often frustratingly fragmented health care system.

“I thought, ‘I want to be a better doctor than that,’” he said.

That conviction was reaffirmed during an FMIG meeting when the speaker — a family physician — dispelled the myths about family medicine and pointed out “he was never bored,” Alavi said. “Our faculty advisor sees five generations in some of his families.”

As the president of the University of Illinois at Chicago Family Medicine Interest Group in the 2012-2013 academic year, Alavi and his executive board worked to enable more medical students to participate in the FMIG by establishing committees on social wellness, student outreach and social media. As a result of their work, the UIC FMIG was one of 10 schools in the nation to receive the AAFP Program of Excellence Award.

Alavi then went on to pursue a position as the regional FMIG coordinator for 10 states — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin — that comprise Region 2 of the AAFP FMIG network. In that position, he engaged FMIG leaders throughout the Midwest and led four workshops at the AAFP National Conference for Family Medicine Residents and Students.

Alavi earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, graduating magna cum laude, from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill., in 2011.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 131,400 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 www.aafp.org/media. Follow us on Twitter,(twitter.com) and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).