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:
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.
Review this Candidate Fact Sheet for details and helpful information.
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?
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.
Members of the AAFP are also members of their local constituent chapters affiliated with the AAFP. For most, your chapter will be your state’s Academy of Family Physicians. Because our organizations are affiliated, we encourage chapter input in the selection process for national leadership positions. Your chapter will have the opportunity to indicate whether you’ve been involved at the state level and any experiences you’ve had with the chapter, as well as to express support for your candidacy. If you aren’t already connected with staff or members from your chapter, contact them right away to discuss your interest in the position.
We recognize that it may be awkward to ask for support from someone who doesn't know you. We strongly encourage you to make some personal contact with the chapter staff 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.
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.
Some leadership positions are elected at the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. To run for one of these positions, you must attend the AAFP National Conference, be nominated for the position at either the Resident or Student Congress business session (National Congress of Family Medicine Residents or National Congress of Student Members), deliver a brief speech, and possibly participate in a question-and-answer session. The leadership positions that are elected at National Conference include: