East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine Student Named Regional Coordinator of AAFP Family Medicine Interest Group

Monday, March 6, 2017

Leslie Champlin
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 6252

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

The AAFP established the National FMIG Network to strengthen the on-campus organizations that focus on promoting family medicine as a career. The network is composed of campus faculty and student FMIG leaders, appointed regional coordinators, and an elected national coordinator. It is designed to foster communication among FMIGs across the country.

“Family Medicine Interest Groups are an important part of our efforts to increase the number of students who choose family medicine as their specialty,” said John Meigs, Jr., MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “They introduce students to the scope of family medicine, the expertise of family physicians, and the professional satisfaction of providing comprehensive care to an entire family over their lifetimes. As a regional coordinator, Margaret is vital to helping fellow medical students not only learn more about family medicine, but also about the opportunities out there for both service and leadership in their communities and their profession.”

As an FMIG regional coordinator, Smith provides a role model for fellow students at a time when demand for family physicians is growing.

Smith completed a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry with a minor in Spanish at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. While in Knoxville, Smith worked as a student leader in many of the university’s community outreach programs. During a gap year, she participated in AmeriCorps at Open Door Family Medical Center, a community-based health center in Westchester County, New York. There, she created and implemented preventive health education programs for sixth grade students.

“I love that family medicine offers the opportunity to really be an advocate for patients, taking into consideration both the medical and non-medical influences on health and wellness,” Smith said. “Family medicine is also a unique opportunity to treat the whole patient in new and creative ways.”

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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).