• National Primary Care Week

    Make a Splash with a Full Week of Family Medicine Programming

    Family medicine interest groups have a lead role in promoting National Primary Care Week (NPCW), an annual event hosted by the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) that celebrates and highlights the importance of primary care during the first week of October. Each day allows you to raise awareness about family medicine at your school.

    Why National Primary Care Week?

    Family medicine is an essential part of the primary care workforce. In fact, more family physicians practice primary care in the U.S. than any other specialty. Not only that, family physicians best match the geographic makeup up communities in the U.S., meaning many underserved communities rely on their family doctors as a lifeline. 

    What's the Goal of National Primary Care Week?

    The goal of NPCW is to engage physicians-in-training, students across the health care spectrum, and the public on the indispensable role of primary care in our health care system through special programming and communications.

    NPCW activities are an opportunity for student groups to help others learn about, experience, and spread awareness of primary care’s pivotal role in the U.S. health care system. These efforts can happen at school, in the community, and across social media.

    Learn more about National Primary Care Week on the AMSA website.

    See What Happened Previous Years

    Virtual Event: What is Primary Care?

    It might seem like a simple question, but there is no singular answer. At a virtual event that kicked off NPCW, the AAFP brought together five family physicians whose careers show why it might depend on who you ask:

    • Deepak Patel, MD, of Aurora, Ill., director of sports medicine at the Rush-Copley Family Medicine Residency in Aurora;
    • Past AAFP President John Cullen, MD, of the rural community of Valdez, Alaska;
    • U.S. Army physician Mariama Massaquoi, MD, of Columbus, Ga.;
    • Kelly Thibert, DO, of Bradenton, Fla., former American Medical Student Association president and AAFP Board member;
    • Anita Ravi, MD, MPH, MSHP, of New York, CEO and co-founder of PurpLE Health Foundation

    Attendees heard from each of the panelists about a career in primary care, and also had the opportunity to meet with them in individual breakout rooms.

    To learn about the variety and principles of primary care and family medicine, check out the recording here.  

    Leader Voices Blog Post by Amy Hoffman, Student Member of the AAFP Board of Directors

    Each year, AMSA determines the theme of NPCW. This year, the theme was health outside of the hospital, with a special focus on COVID-19. In this blog post, Student Member to the AAFP Board of Directors Amy Hoffman introduces readers to inspirational family physician who are speaking out to protect patients during the pandemic, and beyond. Read her blog here

    NPCW Themed Virtual Events: Day-by-Day

    Medical students are leaders when it comes to growing a stronger primary care workforce for future generations. Along with showcasing health care outside of the hospital, AMSA highlighted the importance of advocacy in health throughout NPCW. The “Advocacy in Action” series guided students on getting their voices heard through “Lifting Voices of Future Physicians: Writing Effective LTEs” and several other advocacy writing sessions.

    Additionally, there were other themed sessions throughout the week that spoke to specific areas of primary care:

    • “Panel Discussion: Primary Care in a Changing Climate” hosted by the Environmental Health Action Committee
    • “Home Centered Care Institute (HCCI): Bringing Family Medicine Back Home” hosted by HCCI
    • “How YOU Can Help Set AMSA’s Stances on Primary Care” Hosted by AMSA’s Health Policy team
    • “Physicians in Writing” hosted by GoodRx
    • “Get Comfortable” Gender Inclusion” hosted by AMSA’s Genders & Sexuality Action Committee

    Replays of these sessions are available online.

    NPCW Social Media

    The FMIG Network social media accounts highlighted the importance of primary care all week, bringing widespread attention to facts about the critical role of family medicine in ensuring health equity and access across the country. 

    How to Organize National Primary Care Week Activities on Your Campus

    1. Pick Your Date

    If the scheduled week isn’t ideal for your campus, celebrate NPCW when it would have the biggest impact.

    2. Consider Collaborating

    Contact your American Medical Student Association chapter and other campus groups to see if they'd like to collaborate on an event. 

    Primary care benefits everyone, everywhere, and it takes many health professionals and physicians to make this care happen. That makes NPCW the perfect time to expand the network of students and organizations you usually work with.

    3. Choose Your Programming

    Organize events on your medical school campus that focus on primary care, and that define and highlight family medicine’s key role. Here are some ideas:

    > Use materials from the AAFP to support your efforts:

    >  See what other FMIGs are doing:

    Funding for National Primary Care Week

    Your family medicine specialty group, AMSA chapter, or other student organization may be eligible to receive funding for special National Primary Care Week programming. Read about the Family Medicine Student Organization Grant Program to see what funding opportunities are available.