• 2022 National Conference

    Students Take on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Issues

    August 11, 2022, 4:20 p.m. News Staff — At the first in-person National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students since 2019, nearly 1,300 students took advantage of the opportunity to meet with representatives from hundreds of residency programs, participate in hands-on workshops and hear from engaging speakers.

    congress concept

    During the National Congress of Student Members at the July 28-30 event in Kansas City, Mo., student delegates also elected peers to represent them in leadership positions, and participants debated numerous resolutions with a heavy emphasis on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

    Patients’ Preferred Language for Prescriptions

    For example, delegates to the student congress adopted a substitute resolution that called on the AAFP to urge national pharmacy chains and mail order pharmacies to gather demographic data about patients’ preferred language and print prescriptions according to patients’ language preference.

    The reference committee heard testimony exclusively in favor of the resolution, including testimony from the authors of the original resolution, who said that medication adherence among patients with limited English proficiency is a national issue that can lead to increased medical errors, increased costs and low adherence.

    Additional testimony cited experiences where translating prescriptions reduced patient contacts resulting from unclear prescription directions.

    Story Highlights

    The substitute resolution (which, essentially, differed from the original only in that it substituted the term “preferred” for “native” throughout) also called on the Academy to provide a model policy encouraging prescription label translation for states’ boards of pharmacy as well as  model legislation that could be used by AAFP chapters to pursue related legislation at the state level.

    Native Representation

    The student congress adopted a resolution that called for the AAFP to increase the visibility of Native and Indigenous communities by inviting representative members of such communities to speak at AAFP events and to recruit and select community members to contribute to the work of the new Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness.

    The reference committee heard testimony that the AAFP has student liaison positions with the Student National Medical Association and the Latino Medical Student Association, but there is no equivalent opportunity with organizations that represent Native and Indigenous communities.

    Members testifying in support of the resolution said being deliberate about including members from these communities on the new commission would help provide a voice for these communities.


    Students adopted a substitute resolution that called on the AAFP to encourage its chapters to monitor local and state policy efforts intended to limit access to best-practice health care for two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual/aromantic and related individuals.

    Furthermore, the substitute resolution called on the Academy “to provide resources as requested by chapters” for the following purposes:

    • to oppose the passage of new legislation limiting the access of 2S-LGBTQIA+ individuals to empirically supported health care;
    • to advocate for the repeal of existing laws that limit the access of such individuals to empirically supported health care; and
    • to lobby against policies that expose those individuals to discrimination and violence.

    Students testified in support of the resolution, citing suicide statistics for this patient population as well as recent legislative efforts to criminalize evidence-based medicine that affect 2S-LGBTQIA+ individuals.

    The original resolution also called on the Academy to coordinate lobbying efforts with its chapters. Although the reference committee supported the intent of this language, the reference committee offered the “as requested” wording because the AAFP does not direct its chapters’ lobbying efforts.

    Other Business

    Students also adopted the following measures:

    • A resolution that called on the Academy to update its Direct Primary Care toolkit to include resources to assist state chapters in addressing DPC in their respective states.
    • A resolution that called for the AAFP to advocate that mental health professionals be tapped to respond to mental health crises — and be appropriately paid for doing so — as well as for a reduction in the use of police to respond to such events. The reference committee heard testimony exclusively in support of the resolution.
    • A substitute resolution that called on the AAFP to work with stakeholders to educate medical students, trainees and physicians about the unique needs of patients experiencing homelessness. Additionally, the substitute resolution called for the Academy to explore opportunities to work with stakeholders to study the economic impact of housing instability, with an emphasis on developing evidence-based policies to address the social and health needs of those experiencing homelessness.
    • A substitute resolution that called for the AAFP to support accommodations for medical students with disabilities and to encourage the utilization of services by those who could benefit. It also urged the Academy to advocate for further inclusion and recruitment of individuals with disabilities within the specialty of family medicine and within the medical field as a whole.
    • A substitute resolution that called for the AAFP to  develop resources for chapters, such as model legislation, regarding colorectal screening for uninsured patients. The substitute resolution also called for the AAFP to pursue partnerships with stakeholders regarding equitable colorectal cancer screening and treatment and to advocate for more transparency on federal and state allocated funds for preventive measures.