How to Apply
The application process for AAFP and family medicine leadership positions starts with reviewing the eligibility requirements and responsibilities of the various positions available to students and residents, and making sure you qualify and have an interest in one or more positions. You should then contact your AAFP chapter (such as your state Academy of Family Physicians) to express interest and inquire about any additional processes, requirements, or support required or provided by your state.
Next, you should start preparing and requesting the application components, which include:
- Your curriculum vitae
- A letter of interest
- A letter of support from your AAFP chapter
- A letter of support from your program director (residents) or a faculty member (students)
- For students, acknowledgment from your medical school dean’s office of your academic good standing and institutional support for this leadership opportunity
You will submit these materials or instigate a request for your letter writers to submit them through an online application system. You may begin the online application, save, and come back to it later. You can indicate in the application system who you’re asking to write letters on your behalf and the system will send a prompt to them to upload their letters. However, we recommend that you’ve asked your letter writers to prepare this for you ahead of that request, and that you notify them to expect an email from the application system when it is time to submit the letter.
Answers to Common Questions About Application Materials
There are many different formats for curriculum vitae. The purpose of a CV is to provide a succinct summary of your professional career. A good CV will concisely convey to a reviewer the breadth and depth of your experiences, training and interest. It need not include every area of interest. To a certain extent, a CV is written for and tailored to the position for which you are applying. Use your best judgment to determine if the items included in your CV add to your candidacy for the position in question. Keep in mind that, for purposes of this process, your CV must be limited to one page front and back.
The purpose of a letter of interest is to help the reviewer. A letter of interest should convey a sense of your personality, personal integrity, knowledge of the position and your writing skills. At the very least, your letter of interest should express your enthusiasm for the position. Your letter should convey a sense of your (1) personality, (2) personal integrity, (3) level of interest in family medicine, (4) knowledge of and enthusiasm for the position, and (5) communication skills.
Essentially, we need to know that the constituent chapter president and executive acknowledge and support your candidacy. Any observations that your constituent chapter president or executive make regarding your involvement in constituent chapter activities can be extremely helpful to your candidacy. Constituent chapter letters must be on chapter letterhead.
If you don't know your chapter officials well, make a point of contacting them to discuss your interest in the position.
We recognize that it may be awkward to obtain a letter of endorsement/nomination from a
person who doesn't know you. We strongly encourage you to make some personal contact with the chapter executive. If you were known to the chapter executive in your previous state of residence, it may be very helpful to request that individual contact your new chapter executive to encourage consideration of your candidacy.
Why is it important to obtain a letter of recommendation from the residency program director, recognition from the dean’s office, and a letter from a pre-doctoral director or other knowledgeable faculty?
Letters from these sources provide an assessment of your qualifications and potential. More importantly, requiring this communication helps to ensure that the issue of time away from your program or school has been discussed.
In making your request for letters of recommendation or completion of the special dean’s form, it is helpful to include specific information about the position you are seeking and how this opportunity relates to your education. It is also worth noting how you plan to share information gathered from meetings (e.g., volunteer to present during a brown bag lunch, grand rounds, etc.). Letters of recommendation must be on the institution’s letterhead.
All applications are submitted through an online system accessible via the position descriptions on the AAFP website. Check the description(s) of the leadership position(s) you are interest in for application deadlines.