When Kethelyne Beauvais wanted exposure to medical professions as an undergraduate at Randolph-Macon College, she wisely chose to volunteer at a free clinic that was within walking distance of the small liberal arts and sciences school in Ashland, Va. There, Beauvais found a mentor in family physician Thomas Hubbard, M.D., D.D.S.
"When he was developing treatment plans, he frequently addressed the patients' social obstacles, like making sure they had affordable medications," she said. "He put an emphasis on seeing the humanity in patients, and he provided them with hope at their most vulnerable times. The free clinic provided a good foundation for me. It was there that family medicine won my heart."
Beauvais helped develop a scribing program at the free clinic and continued to work with Hubbard throughout her four years at Randolph-Macon, which allowed her to observe and learn more skills, such as motivational interviewing.
Beauvais said she's grateful for the mentorship Hubbard and others have provided to this point in her education. On March 15, the fourth-year Eastern Virginia Medical School student will learn who her next mentors will be when the results of the National Resident Matching Program are announced.
"I'll be happy wherever I end up because the programs I interviewed with were truly amazing in their own respects," she said. "I'm so happy I chose family medicine. I'm beyond excited for Match Day."
Beauvais already has taken on a leadership role in family medicine, serving as the AAFP liaison to the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). She has served as SNMA speaker of the house and is now one of its national community service co-chairs. In the latter role, she and her fellow co-chair are working with community partners to plan service events for the organization's Annual Medical Education Conference,(www.snma.org) April 17-21 in Philadelphia. Events planned to date include a Healthy Attitude Summit for local high school students, feminine hygiene and art supply collection drives for local shelters, a blood drive, and tissue and bone marrow registries.
"I learned working with the SNMA and the AAFP that our patients need us to be a voice for them and our communities," she said. "Advocacy is definitely in my future. I hope to help address the social determinants of health in a community that I'll be serving, starting from the ground up. That's important to me. Wherever I end up, I want to be involved. The great thing about family medicine is that the residency programs have embraced that concept of helping their community and creating strong clinicians who can practice anywhere, including rural areas or even abroad."