• Start a Family Medicine Interest Group

    Mission Statements, Goals, and Leadership Structures

    Step 1: Create a Plan

    Gather a few people who share your interest in family medicine. Together, sketch out a plan for your FMIG. Consider the following questions:

    • Who are the leaders and what kind of leadership structure works for our group?
    • What kind of programming will we do for students?
    • What are the goals of our group?
    • How will we attract students to the group?
    • Who will be the faculty advisor(s) for our group?

    Step 2: Make it Official

    The AAFP doesn’t have specific requirements that must be met in order for your FMIG to be an “official” group. However, your school might require certain paperwork. Contact the department at your school that is responsible for student clubs to make sure that your group is registered (and "official") with your school. This could be the student government association, the dean’s office, student services, or others.

    Step 3: Establish Leaders

    If you don’t already have your FMIG leaders identified, this is an important step to building a strong foundation for your group. Although the number of leaders and the responsibilities of each position can be decided by the FMIG, it is suggested that each group have at least a president and a treasurer.

    Some of the benefits of holding a leadership position include:

    • Personal opportunity to explore the family medicine specialty
    • Meeting family medicine doctors
    • Forming a relationship with the dean/department of family medicine
    • Free dinners and fun activities
    • Building a resume/curriculum vitae
    • Becoming involved in a national family medicine professional organization

    Step 4: Draft a Mission Statement

    A mission statement is a brief summary of why your group exists and what you hope to accomplish. A well written mission statement can help focus your group’s activities. Examples from other FMIGs include:


    “The Family Medicine Interest Group strives to aid in professional development, cultivate interest in Family Medicine, provide an outlet for serving our community, and promote social activities for our members.”


    “The mission of the Family Medicine Interest Group is to foster interest and learning in students about the area of Family Medicine, with the intention of recruiting aspiring physicians to become Family Medicine Physicians.”

    Step 5: Refine Your Goals

    Know what you want to accomplish. Aim to set both short- and long-term goals. Examples from other FMIGs include:.


    1. Education – increase awareness and educate medical students about family medicine. Assist in residency searches and understanding the match.
    2. Professional development – Provide opportunities for mentorship, networking, and leadership development for medical students and family medicine residents.
    3. Outreach – conduct community service projects on behalf of patients in the city and the surrounding areas.
    4. Advocacy – Shape health care policy through interactions with government, the public, and physician organizations at local, state and national levels.
    5. Pipeline to Family Medicine – Organize a sequence of programs that will identify and cultivate future family physicians from middle school to residency.


    1. Increase interest in Family Medicine by exposing students to wide variety of opportunities that are available in Family Medicine, such as increasing different workshops at the Procedures Fair.
    2. Increase community outreach by raising money for a local nonprofit health related organization and increasing the number of volunteers at the free health clinic.
    3. Provide support to Humanities activities on campus.
    4. Improve patient education program at Saturday Free Clinic

    Step 6: Have Fun and Be Flexible

    As your new FMIG grows, your goals and leadership structure may need to evolve. That’s a good thing! Stay true to your mission statement and the unique strengths and needs of your group. And don’t forget to have fun!

    Leadership Recruitment Tips

    There are a couple strategies for recruiting new leaders on a regular basis:

    • Have outgoing officers recruit volunteers to run for their positions in the upcoming year.
    • Publicize the officer election several weeks in advance to give members the chance to consider running for office and do some research about what is involved.
    • Delegate responsibilities! Find volunteers to coordinate special events. For example, interested third- and fourth-year students can plan residency dinners, interviewing workshops, etc. Students with busy clerkship schedules may only want to be in charge of one event. Try to accommodate all interested students' schedules and needs—it's the best way to capitalize on good leadership and expand your programming.

    Leadership Structure Options

    There are many possible leadership positions. Determine which positions you need, and set clear roles and expectations for each position. Some examples from FMIGs of varying sizes include: 

    School A School B School C School D
    President President President President

    Vice President

    Vice President

    Vice President

    Vice President

    Community Service Coordinator

    Treasurer Recruitment Secretary

    Social Events Coordinator

    Community Service Chair


    M1 Representative

    Clinical Skills Coordinator

    Public Relations Chair

    Tar Wars


    Residency Fair Coordinators

    Membership Chair

    M1 Representatives  

    Class Representatives (from all four classes)

    Social Chair M3/M4 Representatives  
    Resident Advisors M1 Representatives (3)    

    Faculty Advisors