January 29, 2018, 10:25 am News Staff – If you have an interest in researching part of the rich history of family medicine, you'll want to know about a fellowship grant that can make it easy for you to pore over a unique archive this year.
The AAFP Foundation is accepting applications for the 2018 Sandra L. Panther Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine to facilitate research at the Center for the History of Family Medicine.
The deadline to apply is March 31, and the winner will be announced May 31. The grant award of as much as $2,000 covers travel expenses for fellows to use the Leawood, Kan.-based center's collections for research conducted between June 1 and Dec. 31.
Don Ivey, manager at the Center for the History of Family Medicine, explained that the fellowship opens the door to an expansive repository that houses unique materials related to family medicine.
"We are the only site that is exclusively dedicated to the preservation and sharing of the history of family medicine in the U.S.," Ivey said. "No other facility does that. If you want to learn about family medicine, this is the place to visit."
The grant can be used to help with scholarly work ranging from a written report to a multimedia project.
"We encourage applicants to use their imagination when they apply," Ivey said. "We really don't want to restrict them as far as what type of media they use or the subject they pursue as long as it pertains to the history of family medicine or general practice."
Amna Choudry, M.D., M.P.H., of Baltimore, one of two family physicians who shared the 2017 fellowship, used the opportunity to research the origin, growth and possible future of rural family medicine. Her goal is to create a resource that can help guide future family physicians in rural practice.
The other 2017 fellow, Terrence Steyer, M.D., of Charleston, S.C., used the archives to trace the evolution of the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina and promote the ongoing need for family medicine departments.
"The fellowship has helped me to complete my initial project and also spurred two additional projects," Steyer said. "The center is a treasure trove, and I plan to come back to find some more buried treasure in the future."
Ivey said researchers are often startled to discover the depth of materials at the center, which ballooned from its origin as the AAFP's archive into a group of large collections of photos, artifacts and personal manuscripts that together offer wider insight into the specialty of family medicine.
"Fellows generally come here once and say, 'I wish I had given myself more time here,'" Ivey said.
The fellowship is not limited to family physicians. Researchers, health professionals, historians, scholars, educators, scientists and others also are welcome to apply.
The fellowship is named in honor of former AAFP Foundation Executive Director and AAFP Vice President of Corporate Development Sandra Panther, C.F.R.E.