'I Am Convinced Family Medicine Is the Solution'

February 12, 2018 02:34 pm David Mitchell

Her name is Kristina Dakis, M.D., and if you don't already know the name, you should probably get used to hearing it.

[Kristina Dakis, M.D.]

The third-year resident at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Family Medicine Residency Program already has co-founded a medical student wellness program at the UIC College of Medicine, led a national project on burnout prevention among physicians-in-training(13 page PDF) for Family Medicine for America's Health,(fmahealth.org) served as both the student and the resident member of the Illinois AFP Board of Directors, and is serving on her second AAFP commission.

Dakis also is resident chair of the 2018 National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students, which will be held Aug. 2-4 in Kansas City, Mo.

"I get to help design a conference that is going to inspire more students to go into family medicine," she said. "We need more primary care physicians. I can't think of a better way for me to make an impact."

Dakis was drawn to a career in medicine as a teenager after a family member suffered a stroke. That relative recovered but lost health insurance coverage and had difficulty accessing preventive care.

"It showed me that we need doctors who will meet people at their level and address all the issues -- not just the medical ones -- that affect their health," Dakis said. "Family physicians are trained to approach care that way. It was a great fit for me."

After residency, Dakis plans to complete a surgical obstetrics fellowship and practice full-scope family medicine.

"After years witnessing my own family struggle to navigate the medical system, I am convinced family medicine is the solution to our nation's health care problems," she said. "We keep people out of emergency departments, prevent progression of chronic diseases and help individuals take control of their health. We are committed to the families we serve, foster lifelong relationships with our patients, and stand by their side during the happiest and most challenging times of life."