The following programs and events were selected from FMIG Program of Excellence Award applications. Browse the list to get ideas and inspiration for your FMIG. Each entry shows the level of effort that went into the program/event, how many students participated, and a detailed description in the students' own words.
FMIG: Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
What it took to organize: 3 students, 5 hours
Number of students who attended/participated: 60
Details: Careers in Family Medicine versus Medicine-Pediatrics was an interest group lunch meeting co-hosted with FMIG, Medicine-Pediatrics Interest Group, and the Brody School of Medicine Office of Student Development and Academic Counseling (OSDAC). This topic was proposed as an important topic to address because of the frequency of the question, “What’s the difference between Family Medicine and Med-Peds?” The meeting showcased the Brody School of Medicine Family Medicine residency director, Dr. Jonathon Firnhaber, and the Brody School of Medicine Med-Peds residency director, Dr. Mary Catherine Turner. The two speakers discussed the similarities and differences between their two respective specialties and how each of these specialties serve the purpose of primary care in Eastern North Carolina. Dr. Firnhaber explained the capability of Family Medicine physicians to take care of patients of all ages, perform a wide variety of outpatient procedures, and provide continuity of care for patients admitted to the hospital. He also emphasized that the opportunities available in Family Medicine can be tailored to one’s interests and skills including Sports Medicine and Obstetrics care. This meeting was highly regarded by the students in attendance because the speakers were able to make the distinctions between the two specialties clear while also emphasizing the need for collaboration with Family Medicine and Med-Peds to be able to provide the most comprehensive primary care for our patients. The role of the FMIG leaders in this meeting was to contact the two speakers and prepare a formal introduction as well as coordinate with OSDAC to advertise the event to students. Our FMIG advisor attended this event and was given updates regarding the progress of our planning and advertising. We measured the success of this event through number of student attendees as well as a survey organized by OSDAC. This event will be considered again in the future because of strong student interest and beneficial collaboration between primary care specialties.
FMIG: Stanford University School of Medicine
What it took to organize: N/A
Number of students who attended/participated: 22
Details: The event featured an evening of poetry and discussion/workshop with transgender artists Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramanian, part of the South Asian performance duo “DarkMatter.” Alok and Janani’s poetry focuses on the experiences of minority transgender people, and their encounters with the healthcare system. In particular, their writings expose the gender normative ways in which medicine is often practiced, and the extremely limited, often strictly physical conception of pain that providers behold. The goal of the event is to highlight the important intersection of gender and health in family medicine (and all medicine), and to critically engage the audience around issues of transgender health, trauma and cultural competency. Alok and Janani, both recent Stanford graduates, performed on the main Stanford campus during the summer of 2015, and one of the FMIG student leaders, after listening to the poems that explored themes in transgender health, extended them an invitation to speak at the medical school. The FMIG faculty advisor helped recruit other faculty members who are leaders in caring for transgender populations to take part in facilitating the workshop portion of the event. Students critically reflected on their own conceptions and biases around gender, ethnicity, and medicine. Verbal feedback was obtained from the artists, faculty members and student participants in both the structure and the content of the session.
FMIG: Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University
What it took to organize: 8 students, 5 hours
Number of students who attended/participated: 35
Details: The goal of this program was two-fold: first, to raise awareness of human trafficking in our city, nationally, and internationally, and second, to show the important role family physicians and emergency physicians in particular can play in identifying victims of human trafficking and caring for their emotional, psychological, and physical needs. Through connections in our community, we were able to invite the founder of Anne's House (the only shelter in Illinois for victims) and director of the Salvation Army's PROMISE (anti-trafficking) program to speak at our campus. The first two events were so popular (attracting >120 students) that we held a third event to provide the students with further information about how to help victims in a clinical setting. The speaker (who we cannot name due to the sensitive nature of his work) helped students to understand the magnitude of the trafficking problem in Chicago and nationwide and trained us to spot potential victims. Victims of human trafficking have few interactions with the outside world when they are trafficked. However, a considerable percentage of these victims do interact with doctors for treatment of trauma, overwork, or sexually transmitted diseases while they are in captivity. This makes it imperative for family physicians to be able to identify victims who may visit their office and be trained to deal with these situations appropriately. This program was very successful in attracting student interest/attendance and raising awareness of the millions of individuals worldwide who are in modern-day slavery. This visit was followed by a visit to Anee’s House to better understand this social issue. We hope to invite a similar speaker in the future and continue to raise awareness of social issues on our campus and in our community.
FMIG: Saint Louis University School of Medicine
What it took to organize: 6 students, 10 hours
Number of students who attended/participated: 60 per event
Details: As part of our activities with PCIG, we have planned and hosted several physician panels throughout the year to help students explore the differences between Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatric Medicine, as well as understand the scope of practices within these fields.
At the end of NPCW in October, we hosted a panel of academic primary care physicians to discuss what it is like to practice in both clinic and academia. The speaker we arranged for Family Medicine was Dr. Emily Doucette, a SLU academic physician. Questions from students were mainly focused on what it meant to be an academic physician, the lifestyles of academic physicians, and the criteria for practicing within academic medicine. Turnout from this event was much larger than previous years, and students seemed particularly interested in the academic side of medical practice.
The Primary Care Research Panel was comprised of physicians from Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics who all participate in research within their fields. This was the first year that we have held a panel like this, and students were pleasantly surprised by the variety of research that primary care physicians are able to engage in while still having a clinical practice. M1s, M2s, and M3s were present and asked a lot of insightful questions that facilitated good dialogue among the panelists.
PCIG has planned a final panel discussing community practice for Spring. The focus is twofold: to step away from hospital medicine and help students inquire about working in the community, and highlight the importance of women in primary care by inviting female physicians in the community. We have several Family Medicine physicians in mind for this event, and are excited to finish our physician panel series with a discussion of an important aspect of primary care in the United States: the private practice office.
Overall, enthusiasm and turnout for the panels has been excellent, and we feel that these important discussions have really helped push the uniqueness and diversity of practice found in primary care to our fellow classmates.
FMIG: The Commonwealth Medical College
What it took to organize: 2 students, 2 hours
Number of students who attended/participated: 25-30
Details: Michael Bronski, Professor of Practice in Media and Activism in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University, came to speak with TCMC students about patients in the LGBT community they may encounter during their career as a physician. As an LGBT activist since the 1960s, Mr. Bronski touched on the ever changing attitude towards individuals in the LGBT community. He related to us that although it has improved, individuals within the LGBT community are misunderstood from many different areas, including medicine. As a result, many members refuse to visit the doctor leading to disease that could have been prevented or better controlled. He stressed that patients in the LGBT community want to feel comfortable visiting the physician; as future physicians, we can keep the office an open and non-judgmental environment, and keep in mind, that many times sickness and disease of a patient has nothing to do with their sexual orientation. For example, the patient may have bronchitis or arthritis. Mr. Bronski sought to promote an awareness and understanding of patients in the LGBT community and to encourage all health care professionals to embrace these patients with open arms. Michael Bronski accomplished these things in his visit to TCMC by telling the stories of several young LGBT individuals. FMIG and PRIDE promoted her presentation with posters, web site announcements, and email invitations.
A third-year student and member of PRIDE reached out to FMIG with the idea of combining forces to host Mr. Bronski. FMIG was especially interested in hosting Michael Bronski because of his outstanding message, and our faculty advisor Dr. Joyce readily supported this event. To plan Mr. Bronski's visit, we contacted and communicated with him by email and phone. He agreed to the visit as he had a close friend living in Scranton. PRIDE and FMIG leaders continued to communicate with Mr. Bronski by email and phone to set the date and time of the event.
Mr. Bronski's presence allowed TCMC students to view medicine in a different perspective and recognize unique opportunities in family medicine to make a difference. Disease and illness do not discriminate, and physicians need to be understanding when dealing with any patient. Primary care specialties offer the greatest opportunities for meaningful patient-physician relationships, and as physicians, we may be the only person patients can trust. Because Mr. Bronski discussed topics relevant and interesting, the event also drew many faculty and staff members at TCMC, making it a large community event.