Meet the FMIG Network National Coordinator
The FMIG Network National Coordinator supports and facilitates the work of the five Regional Coordinators to develop and strengthen FMIGs on medical school campuses across the country. He or she is also a member of the AAFP Commission on Education, as well as its subcommittee on National Conference Planning. The National Coordinator is elected at the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students, and serves a one-year term.
Read how National Coordinator Erin Clark plans to use her passion for family medicine to strengthen the FMIG Network and inspire students to choose family medicine.
2018-2019 National Coordinator
School: Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine
"My favorite things to see FMIGs doing involve community engagement at the ground level. Some awesome groups have found community partners that they can assist to create a greater benefit. I think that holds an important career lesson--we can accomplish a lot by working with others rather than feeling pressured to pioneer everything ourselves."
— Erin Clark
What do you most look forward to in your future career as a family physician?
I'm looking forward to seeing a variety of patients and having continuity. I love watching people set goals and make progress, particularly with nutrition and exercise. And one of my favorite things about family medicine is that you don't know what unique challenge is behind the next door in clinic--every person and every case is different, and it never gets old!
Why do you think the FMIG Network is important?
The FMIG Network is important because each FMIG can learn from another. Each school struggles with similar concerns, and medical school can be isolating. The Network provides an avenue for students to support, inspire, and motivate each other toward bright futures in family medicine.
What are some of the most inspiring projects you’ve seen FMIGs taking on recently?
My favorite things to see FMIGs doing involve community engagement at the ground level. Some awesome groups have found community partners that they can assist to create a greater benefit. I think that holds an important career lesson--we can accomplish a lot by working with others rather than feeling pressured to pioneer everything ourselves.
How do you see interest groups at allopathic and osteopathic schools collaborating in the years ahead?
As a DO student, I hope allopathic and osteopathic schools can collaborate a whole lot! I'd love to see osteopathic schools helping develop workshops on OMT and talking about its implementation in sports medicine, or highlighting awesome family physicians who use OMT in their practice to treat things like low back pain or headaches. Aside from OMT, we can all work together on improving student wellness and focusing on patient-centric care.
What are you most proud of from your time serving as a Regional Coordinator?
I'm most proud of the awesome work that the Regional Coordinators did leading up to and during National Conference! I loved getting to recognize the Program of Excellence award winners and really connect with leaders in my region, and encouraging others to step up into leadership roles.
What do you hope to accomplish in the upcoming year as National Coordinator?
I hope to sustain an environment where students are empowered to think creatively and improve continually. I would love for leaders to feel comfortable reaching out to me and the Regional Coordinators with new and big ideas, but even more so feel that their ideas have been heard and valued. My main goal will be to ensure that I do everything I can to help students succeed and be confident in their futures as family physicians.
How has being involved with FMIGs helped you form connections that you might not have otherwise developed?
I could write 10 pages on this! Being involved with the FMIG at my school helped me find a summer internship with my state chapter, which in turn led me to my current running coach (the husband of an awesome family physician and bosslady runner), which led me to a position on my state chapter's foundation board, which led me to a spot in the AAFP Foundation's Emerging Leader Institute(www.aafpfoundation.org), which led to my Regional Coordinator position, and my decision to earn my MPH, and is leading to my choice to match into family medicine! So be careful y'all: if you get involved in your FMIG you might end up a runner with an extra degree and some life-long friends. I hope you're ready for an awesome ride!