Meet the FMIG Network Student Leaders

The Regional Coordinators of the Family Medicine Interest Group Network play a crucial role in connecting students with local FMIGs and helping FMIGs around the nation connect with and learn from each other. Additionally, the FMIG Network includes two liaisons who help FMIGs collaborate with the Student National Medical Association and the Latino Medical Student Association. A National Coordinator oversees the objectives and activities of the FMIG Network.

Learn more about the Regional Coordinators and SNMA and LMSA liaisons and their unique experiences with FMIGs and family medicine.

Regional Coordinators | SNMA and LMSA Student Liaisons

RegionRegional Coordinator
Region: #1 (Western)
Regional Coordinator: Dylan Nehrenberg
Region: #2 (Midwest)
Regional Coordinator: Zachary Nicholas
Region: #3 (Mid-Atlantic)
Regional Coordinator: Erin Clark
Region: #4 (Northeast)
Regional Coordinator: Keanan McGonigle
Region: #5 (Southeast)
Regional Coordinator: Jacqueline Sroka

Victoria Boggiano

Region 1 -- Dylan Nehrenberg

Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine, Spokane
Year: MS2

About Dylan

What is your favorite thing about family medicine?

The breadth and lasting relationships with patients are what drew me to family medicine. The broad scope of family medicine allows you to choose how you most want to practice medicine. Whether it’s OB, sports medicine, palliative care—family medicine is there. There’s also a component of advocacy. Family medicine physicians are doctors for individuals, families, and communities, and this places them in a prime position to effectively tackle the social determinants of health that create persistent disparities in care. 

What do you hope to achieve in your leadership role?

I want to support FMIGs in my region so they can provide excellent early family medicine education. I will work hard so that new and existing FMIGs are aware of the resources available to them. I also hope to promote collaborations and conversations that broaden the scope of workshops and events available to FMIGs. At the heart of it, I hope to enhance student choice for family medicine, and to support FMIG-based medical training.


Margaret Smith

Region 2 -- Zachary Nicholas

Medical School: California Northstate University College of Medicine
Year: MS2

About Zachary

What is your favorite thing about family medicine?

My favorite thing about Family Medicine is the focus on human interaction and whole-person treatment. The skills of an FM physician allow them to be prepared for any eventuality, adapt to nearly any clinical scenario, and treat any patient population. As a student, I have a wide variety of interests in medicine and FM allows me to explore and practice wide-ranging skills in numerous settings. Similarly, with my interest in rural primary care, FM training best equips to address the needs of isolated and marginalized communities with minimal support from other providers. FM has a long history of advocating on behalf of vulnerable patients and communities; I look forward to continued contributions as a member of a vibrant physician organization that fights for social, environmental, and health justice.

What do you hope to achieve in your leadership role?

With my position at the AAFP, I hope to learn the skills necessary to increase awareness of Family Medicine in the medical student population of my region, including debt repayment opportunities, scope of practice, and other characteristics that make FM a unique and desirable specialty. Additionally, I intend to work with AAFP staff and physicians to better advocate for increased representation of primary care providers at all levels of medicine and encourage student interest groups to participate in advocacy for legislative and regulatory reform. Lastly, I plan to use my communication skills to coordinate the activities of chapters and increase inter-chapter interaction, particularly leading up to and including national and state FM conferences.


Joe Brodine

Region 3 -- Erin Clark

Medical School: Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine
Year: MS3

About Erin

What is your favorite thing about family medicine?

My favorite thing about family medicine is its uniqueness. Family medicine has endless possibilities for breadth and depth in practice. There is no other place in medicine where a physician can create meaningful relationships with patients of all ages and backgrounds, and care for them in the context of their family and social environment.

What drew you to leadership and what do you hope to accomplish this year?

Having been selected in 2017 for the Emerging Leaders Institute, I wanted to use the skills that the AAFP has equipped me with to give back to the organization and the students and residents that the AAFP serves. I'm excited to represent the osteopathic students in the FMIG Network!

 


Ranjani Natarajan

Region 4 -- Keanan McGonigle

Medical School: Tulane University School of Medicine
Year: MS3

About Keanan

What is your favorite thing about family medicine?

I love that family medicine doesn’t get bogged down in a particular organ, or bone, or system. Family medicine sees a person as a whole, living within a community, within a particular healthcare system, and helps him or her meet their personal health challenges. Whether that’s coordinating care between a range of specialists, dealing with the minor health problems that can be major concerns for that individual, or doing health maintenance visits, family doctors meet people where they are. That also means providing care to an entire family – from kids’ vaccines, to mom’s skin, to dad’s diabetes – rather than expecting people to run around to a cadre of doctors. Family med keeps that perspective of the individual, family, or community as a whole – and that’s how I want to practice medicine.  

What do you hope to accomplish in your position this year?

I hope to connect existing FMIG chapters that are already doing amazing work elevating family medicine and preparing their students. I want chapters to be able to share ideas and feed off each other’s energy to advance family medicine even at schools that do not have a strong family medicine presence. I think sharing ideas and successes between schools can help bolster smaller chapters with less established infrastructure. I hope to be able to facilitate this dialogue using social media and existing AAFP systems. 


Chandler Stisher

Region 5 -- Jacqueline Sroka

Medical School: Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Year: MS3

About Jacqueline

What is your favorite thing about family medicine?

My favorite thing about Family Medicine is having the opportunity to serve families and communities in many different ways through the unique experience of providing health care to all ages. The breadth of medicine and patient population in Family Medicine is unmatched in any other field. I particularly enjoy taking the time to explore the biopsychosocial model that surrounds the life of every patient, from children to older adults. Family Medicine encourages continuity of care and establishment of patient-physician relationships that can last a lifetime. I have strong interests in nutrition and complementary and alternative medicine, which are topics that family physicians are able to explore within their practice. The importance of well-rounded medicine, tailored individually to each patient, is being pioneered by family physicians. I believe this is the most comprehensive, challenging, and exciting way to practice medicine.

What drew you to leadership and what do you hope to accomplish this year?

Since the beginning of medical school, I committed myself to my medical school’s FMIG. Realizing the massive amount of opportunities available for medical students, I wanted to become further involved. Not only were these options available, they were highly encouraged by wonderful mentors I met in the field of Family Medicine. Every fellow student and physician that I met through the organization was supportive, enthusiastic, and inspiring. I could not resist the enthralling opportunity to further advance my position to the national level because I am eager to connect with other medical students and guide them towards opportunities in the AAFP and their state chapters. I would like to ensure that every FMIG has the resources necessary to expose students to Family Medicine and the possibilities to learn through FMIG events. I believe it is easier to inspire others to become passionate about a field when you yourself show the passion. This is how I would like to lead as a regional coordinator and future family physician.


James Lee

SNMA Student Liaison -- Blessing Inyang

Medical School: Creighton University School of Medicine
Year: MS3

About Blessing

What is your favorite thing about family medicine?

The amazing thing about family medicine is that it allows one to impact the entire spectrum of life from the birthing of newborns to caring for the elderly. It is the one field in medicine, where a provider could care for all members within any given family, which is a level of rapport that’s unique to family medicine. 

What do you hope to achieve in your leadership role?

As student liaison, I intend to provide an avenue for mentorship between AAFP physicians and the students of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). Similarly, I desire to attract SNMA members to the AAFP by revealing all the benefits that AAFP have to offer to the members of the SNMA. I, too, aim to enhance the partnership of the AAFP and the SNMA as the organizations embark on causes that affect the general population at large.  


Vicki Otaño

LMSA Student Liaison -- Victoria Otaño

Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine
Year: MS4

About Vicki

What is your favorite thing about family medicine?

My favorite thing about becoming a family physician is the connection with our community. During my years in medical school, I‘ve learned the needs of the community define the health of our patients. Providing access to care and being involved in communities has had a huge impact not only on who I am today, but most importantly, on who I want to become. The most exciting aspects of family medicine are being able to follow families at different stages of their lives and watch them grow and overcome difficulties, and empowering them to make healthy decisions. I cannot wait to care for families and celebrate the small things in life together.

Why is family medicine so important to health care in the United States (and the world)?

I believe family medicine makes an incredible impact in the lives of patients and in communities. Being able to call somebody “my doctor” should not be a privilege of a few. Having somebody to turn to for information, comfort, and support is an important aspect of the health of an individual. I consider prevention of health problems a key to a healthier future, and family physicians are in an excellent position to make a difference. Family doctors not only care for the patient’s health status, but also consider the person as a whole. We strive to care for our patient’s mental health, understand the social-economical context they live in, and provide support in every aspect of a person’s life.