Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute Aims to Bolster Specialty's Future

June 23, 2015 02:09 pm Chris Crawford

The AAFP Foundation has long offered scholarships( to pay for students and residents to attend the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. But this year, in addition to 220 of the Family Medicine Leads scholarships, 30 awards will be allocated for the new Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute( program.

[Team of health care professionals]

Of the 30 scholars( selected to participate in the Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute, which will run immediately after the July 30-Aug. 1 National Conference, 15 students and 15 residents were chosen based on their detailed applications and letters of recommendation. Family medicine residents in their first, second or third year and medical students in their second, third or fourth year when the program began were eligible to apply.

Each scholar will receive $1,000 for travel, lodging, registration and expenses to attend the program, scheduled for Aug. 1-2 at AAFP headquarters in Leawood, Kan., as well as National Conference. At National Conference, these awardees will attend a breakfast reception July 30 to welcome them to the conference and let them meet their fellow scholars.

AAFP Foundation President Jason Marker, M.D., M.P.A., of Wyatt, Ind., told AAFP News that the Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute will help expand the leadership pipeline for family medicine and ensure the specialty's future.

Story highlights
  • The AAFP Foundation's Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute program will offer 30 scholarships for students and residents to attend both its conference and the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City, Mo.
  • Ten scholars will be placed into each of three tracks: Policy and Public Health Leadership, Personal and Practice Leadership, and Philanthropic and Mission-driven Leadership.
  • Participants in the program will complete a project attached to their track.

"Though other opportunities exist for leadership development within (and outside) the Academy, we have specifically structured our application process to look for applicants who have not been engaged in the 'usual' leadership development programs that are offered," said Marker. "For many of this year's attendees, this will be the first leadership development program they have attended."

Program Tracks

Ten scholars will be placed into each of three tracks:( Policy and Public Health Leadership, Personal and Practice Leadership, and Philanthropic and Mission-driven Leadership.

Marker said the AAFP Foundation Education Signature Program Work Group developed a vision statement for each track and, from that, developed learning objectives and teaching topics with input from students and residents, focus groups assembled at the past two National Conference meetings, and staff in the academy's Medical Education Division.

"From there, we assembled a faculty with known skill sets in these three areas and have allowed them to develop the curriculum to meet the learning objectives," he said. "Our mantra through the whole process was 'This is not your father's leadership development program,' and we strived at every point to think about this event in new and innovative ways -- even for the faculty."

Marker is the faculty lead for the Personal and Practice Leadership track, which aims to provide participants with a primer on practice level leadership, prioritization and goal-setting.

Support Family Medicine Leads

If you would like to play a meaningful role in the newly created Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute but don't have the time to be a mentor, consider making a donation. Contributions will directly fund the development and training of future family medicine leaders.

The Policy and Public Health Leadership track is intended to help attendees prepare for roles in advocacy and public health to further family medicine in their communities and nationally. The Philanthropic and Mission‑driven Leadership track seeks to help its scholars figure out how to make the biggest impact around the world through various philanthropic opportunities.

Marker said the scholars, in their application materials, were asked to submit a potential project idea within each of the three tracks.

These scholars will be given preconference readings and other work during July, and then the Emerging Leader Institute will be used to reinforce that work and prepare them for a six- to eight-month period to complete their projects.

"We envision a diverse set of projects, which may include posters, YouTube videos, TED talk-style presentations, papers or even mini-research proposals," Marker said. "We have tried to encourage them to think broadly about their topic area and present their project in a format they think could have the greatest impact."

Mentors, Awards & Presentations

After attending the Emerging Leader Institute, family medicine residents and medical students will be assigned a mentor, who will provide guidance and support for their projects between the 2015 and 2016 National Conferences. The mentors also will serve as role models, reflecting the leadership attributes the program hopes to impart.

Individuals interested in serving as mentors for the Emerging Leader Institute should contact Phyllis Naragon at (913) 906-6224.

Projects will be evaluated and awards will be handed out including an additional $1,000 scholarship to the top two medical students and top two residents in each of the three tracks (maximum of 12 award recipients). The award scholarships will provide funding for recipients to return to the 2016 National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students and present their projects.

Finally, the AAFP Foundation will announce one Best Project Award from each of the three tracks, with winners receiving an additional $3,000 scholarship to attend one of the following opportunities related to their respective track:

  • 2016 Family Medicine Congressional Conference in Washington, D.C., April 18-19;
  • 2016 Family Medicine Experience (FMX) Conference in Orlando, Fla., Sept. 20-24; or
  • 2017 Family Medicine Cares International Delegation trip to Haiti (typically scheduled for February).