TINA TANNER, MD, FAAFP

With no family members attending college before her, becoming a doctor wasn’t in the cards, thought Dr. Tina Tanner. Just getting to college was the first step, she said of her acceptance to Western Michigan University. Her intent was to study occupational therapy or social work, but instead listened to her calling to practice medicine.

Dr. Tanner began her quest for a medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1992. It was there that she got involved with the Family Medicine Interest Group, which inspired her to choose family medicine as her specialty and become active in American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the Michigan chapter.

Elected in 2014 as the fifth female president of Michigan Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP), Dr. Tanner was at the helm when the Academy supported then-Gov. Rick Snyder’s innovative, bipartisan Healthy Michigan Plan. She also went toe-to-toe with several legislators as the Academy protected family medicine scope of practice when nurse practitioners lobbied for autonomy.

Throughout the legislative process, initial adversaries soon became friends as mutual respect and a focus on the common goal of increasing access to family physician-led, team-based, affordable, comprehensive, quality healthcare was realized.

Dr. Tanner identifies her work with MAFP, particularly in helping to achieve these advocacy wins for her patients and her fellow and future physicians, as her greatest professional accomplishments.

“I have been able to use these same advocacy skills in my practice, coaching and mentoring patients and colleagues through difficult times,” she said, also crediting the Academy for bringing some of her closest friends, whom she now considers family, into her life.

Today, Dr. Tanner is affiliated with Mercy Health and practices family medicine at Northshore Family Medicine in Muskegon, where she also serves as the primary care medical director for Muskegon and North Ottawa counties. Her subspecialities include women’s health, complementary and integrative medicine, healthcare and policy, and rural health. She is passionate about family medicine and a healthcare system that provides access to excellent and equitable care for all.

In addition to serving as a MAFP Alternate Delegate to AAFP's Congress of Delegates, she is vice chair of Michigan's Family Medicine Political Action Committee and a volunteer member of the MAFP Resolution Review Committee.