The Primary Care Leadership Collaborative (PCLC) supports medical student teams committed to advancing primary care and improving the health of their communities. Through the collaborative, family medicine student interest groups from across the country and their faculty advisors partner with family physician coaches and expert consultants.
Working with these mentors, teams participating in the PCLC create projects to drive action in their schools and communities. Projects focus on one of two areas of importance to the future of primary care:
Each PCLC team has a unique project that is shaped by the stories of the team members, their school, their local partners, and their community. The PCLC provides intensive leadership training and strategies to help teams meet their project goals and, ultimately, improve primary care for all in the United States.
Something is missing from many of today’s leadership approaches: an emphasis on the people involved. But collaboration among people who share common interests and values—regardless of their professional backgrounds or specific goals—is a powerful starting point for overcoming the challenges faced by primary care physicians and their communities.
Relational Leadership™, a framework that emphasizes creating authentic, meaningful connections through interpersonal interaction, is at the core of the PCLC. Primary Care Progress, PCLC's partner organization, specializes in this leadership model and brings valuable expertise to the initiative. Through their support, all medical students and advisors in the PCLC learn essential Relational Leadership™ skills.
Student groups accepted into the PCLC commit to participating in the initiative for two years. Each medical student team has a faculty advisor and works with a trained coach. Coaches are AAFP members who are either family medicine residents or early career family physicians. Throughout the process, coaches receive regular guidance from the PCLC Project Lead Coach, Christina Kelly, M.D., FAAFP, with support from the AAFP and Primary Care Progress.
PCLC training kicks off at the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City, MO, with eight hours of engaging in-person workshops and leadership skill building. After National Conference, teams connect online monthly with their coaches to discuss project planning, action steps, achievements, and challenges.
Every two years, student teams are invited to apply to join the PCLC. This section will be updated with application details in January 2021. Getting involved with your school’s family medicine interest group now can set you up for participating in PCLC in the future.
In 2017, the AAFP, Primary Care Progress (PCP), and Family Medicine for America’s Health launched the PCLC to train medical students involved in family medicine student interest groups to turn their passion for primary care into action. Thirteen student teams from allopathic and osteopathic medical schools and their faculty advisors participated in the collaborative’s two-year pilot with a team of PCP-trained family physician coaches.
The PCLC continues beyond this pilot under the direction of the AAFP, with training support provided by PCP, and coaching services donated by a team of dedicated AAFP members.
Ashley Bentley, MBA, CAE
Student Interest Strategist