Why Choose Family Medicine?
Spotlight on Student Specialty Choice
According to the AAFP's policy on family physician workforce reform, being able to access reliable health care is a major concern among Americans, and consistently ranks high on national surveys. The number and distribution of U.S. physicians -- particularly primary care physicians -- is a key factor in determining that level of access.
The Academy's workforce policy also notes that the demographics of the United States will change as the population grows and becomes more culturally and ethnically diverse. In addition, the number of older Americans will continue to rise as people live longer, thus boosting the overall prevalence of chronic diseases. Ultimately, the U.S. physician workforce must be prepared to care for this increasingly diverse and older population.
And that, of course, means growing the family physician workforce to meet the demand.
It's a goal the AAFP has embraced by calling on medical schools, state and federal governments, private firms, and other stakeholders to develop and support programs and incentives that promote family medicine as students' top career choice.
As part of the Academy's efforts to raise the awareness, understanding, and confidence of medical students to choose family medicine, AAFP News interviewed several students who plan to enter the specialty to find out what drove their decisions. You can access those Q&As -- along with a brief video each student recorded -- from the links on this page.
Laura Yeater, a second-year medical student at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, is choosing family medicine because of what the specialty offers to communities and the long-term relationships it allows physicians to have with patients. She recently took a moment to talk with AAFP News about how she came to her decision.
As a fourth-year medical school student at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., Erin Saner has already given back to her small rural community of Hamptonville, N.C., in multiple ways. She recently spoke with AAFP News about why she has chosen to pursue family medicine as her specialty and what she plans to do as a family physician.
Victoria Boggiano, a fourth-year medical student at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., and co-chair of the AAFP's 2018 National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Students, recently visited with AAFP News about why she has decided to pursue family medicine residency training.
Liz Reed, a second-year medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, thought working in primary care was going to be dull compared to what she had seen as a volunteer in a big trauma center. But once she realized how family physicians use their relationships with patients and their community to improve health, she knew she'd found the right specialty for her. She recently told AAFP News about that decision.
Pedro Alvarez was 12 when his family came to the United States from Mexico. As a young boy, he learned English in his family's new home. At the same time, he took on the job of translator during his father's medical appointments. The role gave Alvarez, now a fourth-year-medical student at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, exposure to the U.S. health care system and a deep appreciation of primary care. He recently spoke with AAFP News about why he plans to go into family medicine.